California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday swore in UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the state supreme court, three months after Liu’s bid for a seat on a federal appeals court was scuttled by Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Brown said Liu “is an individual who will exemplify the finest of scholarship and also the kind of character and temperament that brings people together,” reports the Sacramento Bee. Liu, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, is the court’s fourth Asian American justice and its youngest.
Liu became controversial as President Barack Obama’s nominee to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, criticized by conservatives for advocating for affirmative action and gay marriage, among other causes. Others praised his scholarship. A Georgia native, Liu moved to Sacramento as a child. The Rhodes scholar received degrees from Stanford, Oxford and Yale.