Judicial Nomination Deal Stymies Liu, Puts Democratic Majority on 2nd Circuit

Majority leaders of both parties in the Senate have worked out a deal allowing confirmation of 19 of President Obama’s judicial nominees and deferral of four others.

Democrats agreed not to seek votes on the four nominees, report the Associated Press and the San Jose Mercury News. Their nominations will expire when Congress adjourns for the year. They are:

• Goodwin Liu, an associate dean and professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s law school, who angered Republicans when he criticized Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Liu was nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

• Edward Chen, a former staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, nominated to the federal court in California’s Northern District.

• Louis Butler Jr., a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who lost two elections, nominated to the federal court in Wisconsin’s Western District.

• John McConnell Jr., a Motley Rice lawyer nominated to the federal court in Rhode Island.

Nominees confirmed as part of the deal gave the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a majority of Democratic-nominated active judges, and increased the Democratic majority on the Richmond, Va.-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times has the story on those confirmations last weekend.

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