Liu has not been shy about dissenting during his five years on the California Supreme Court. Dissents are occasionally criticized as adding unnecessarily to court workloads and straining collegiality, Liu noted. On the other hand, they can force the majority to sharpen its opinion or be a clarion call for correction by a higher court. They even “give poor law students something to write about for their third-year law papers,” the 45-year-old former law professor joked.
No society as tolerant as the United States should close off debate or label dissenters heretics, he said. “Judicial dissent, whether later vindicated or not, carries the conversation forward,” he said, “for another time, another forum, or another generation.”