Op-Ed: Appoint Justice Liu as AG—The Future of California’s Children Depends On It

To prepare our youth to become our next leaders we need to understand the links between California’s youth-serving systems and their potential.

With the departure of a federal regime that has unapologetically criminalized and harmed our communities while promoting white supremacist narratives, we have a moral obligation to select leadership that will work to undo the harm that will affect our youth for generations. Our youth bear the brunt of the racist, divisive rhetoric that has plagued the political arena for the last four years, and change is now upon us.

We must select an Attorney General who has the knowledge, experience and moral fiber to implement policies that align economic development with de-carceration. California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu’s record of advocating for California’s most vulnerable children makes him the ideal candidate to be California’s next AG.

Justice Liu has a proven track record of being an advocate for equity and opportunity, and coupled with his deep understanding of the rule of law, he is the best person positioned to provide oversight when systemic failures occur and there is a blatant disregard for the humanity of children.

We do not need another career politician, we need a champion for justice and Justice Liu has proven to be that champion.

Justice Liu’s knowledge comes at a critical time as California struggles with a changing landscape, including the realignment of California’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). His dissent in the court's denial of review for a case involving the rights of a 10-year-old, sparked SB 395 which requires children under the age of 16 to be represented by counsel during police interrogations.

He is a vocal guardian of the rights of Black and brown youth, weeks ago publishing another dissent from a denial of review in a case involving a 13-year-old who was charged with assaulting a police officer after two cops had grabbed her by her arms. Justice Liu emphasized the realities that Black and brown youth face in their interactions with police, writing that “when the two deputies grabbed J.E.’s arms, she may as well have thought that the deputies were trying to harm her.”

This kind of critical approach makes him the only real candidate for this position.

It has been 25 years since the term “superpredator” entered the political arena with repercussions that continue to be felt by California’s Black and brown communities. Justice Liu’s opinions have inspired efforts to dismantle the unjust tough-on-crime practices that have pipelined children into the criminal justice system.

Justice Liu’s opinion in a case regarding school truancy and probation last year led to the passage of AB 901 that requires school districts to attempt to remedy the personal issues students face before referring them to probation.

Justice Liu has also been a longtime supporter of equity in public education. As a law professor at UC Berkeley, he published an article that critiqued the school financing system. His article initiated the Legislature’s overhaul of California’s school finance system and the adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula, securing more resources for schools in low-income areas and with large populations of English Learners.

Justice Liu has written articles on school desegregation and affirmative action, highlighting the need for systemic reforms that would create a more equitable system.

Justice Liu is the AG candidate that California’s children deserve. His appointment will ensure that marginalized children will have the representative and advocate they need as we begin building our path forward.

Justice Liu is the champion for justice our children deserve.

Samuel Nuñez is the executive director of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Send op-ed pitches to [email protected].


  1. Liu’s history includes what else, judicial activism as part of his background or bio.

    California’s Attorney General position is disgustingly politicized in an activist way.

    The only thing in support of Liu is relative: he’s better than the likes of that Schiff.

  2. Mr. Suckered,

    I do think this is a case of taking the lesser evil.

    Compared to Rosen, Schiff, and our man Ash, he seems Bork-like…

  3. Why would Justice Goodwin Liu want to leave the California Supreme Court? Anyone? If he does, then this article makes sense but, if not, it’s weird to suggest this. Then again, Gavin Newsom would then appoint another California Supreme Court Justice.

  4. “Samuel Nuñez is the executive director of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin.”

    There has been, for more than fifty years, a sustained attempt to correlate group identity with systemic discrimination of the kind that cripples group performance. Thanks to ideological corruption in academia, gross malfeasance in the media, and the perversion of liberalism, group identity is now treated as are the individual cards in the game, TEGWAR, The Exciting Game Without Any Rules (as seen in the movie, Bang The Drum Slowly).

    What made TEGWAR so unique was that no card, or combination of cards, could be played with confidence because their value was arbitrarily set, and continually revised, by the Master (who was in fact the con man running the game). So it is with the game RIGGED, Revered Identity Groups Granted Every Demand, where the Master (the confluence of influence and authority) changes the rules as needed to create the illusion that winning is really in cards.

    In the case of Mr. Nuñez, the cards he holds (Hispanic and Easily Duped) can be used to escape the consequences associated with personal behavior, specifically the right to blame the disproportionate criminality and academic failure of his “Brown” people on others (and demand from them relief). Of course, sixty years ago, when breaking the law, cutting school, and flunking exams were recognized by the Master as deserving of consequence, Mr. Nuñez’s cards weren’t worth the price of a swim across the Rio Grande. The Master is fickle if he is anything.

    But compare Mr. Nuñez’s cards to those held by his champion, Justice Liu, who holds an Asian card and a Liberal card, both very valuable when climbing the judicial ladder in California. Now, despite the history of discrimination against Asians in America, the cards in Liu’s hand have never been associated with escaping consequences. In other words, his cards are valued in a way contrary to those of Mr. Nuñez. That said, sixty years ago Mr. Liu’s cards would’ve earned from the Master a pile of dirty laundry instead of judicial robes.

    For Mr. Caucasian, the rumor that his hand has allowed him to escape consequences has always been pure fiction, the work of socioeconomic resentment and political opportunism. His cards, in the current climate, are a curse if unaccompanied by a card made wild by the Master’s whimsy (e.g. Progressive Radical, Tech Mogul, Gay). Small wonder Mr. C complains whenever he finds himself ensnared in the damned game.

    To grasp the true depravity of RIGGED, understand that the Master has recently deemed that young people holding Mr. Nuñez’s cards trump those holding Mr. Liu’s when applying to our elite institutions of higher learning. A diabolical and surprising valuation indeed, tantamount to favoring obesity over agility in ballet (and producing equally unsightly results).

    The Master owes his ability to attract players to RIG to one unfortunate truth: for an increasing number of Americans, nothing terrifies them as does the possibility they will get out of life only what they deserve.

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