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Republicans Block Obama Pick for 9th Circuit

Posted May 19, 2011 2:21 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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The Senate on Thursday voted against bringing the judicial nomination of Goodwin Liu to a floor vote, the Associated Press reports.

Liu, a University of California at Berkeley law professor, was nominated by President Barack Obama to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats needed 60 votes to end filibuster tactics from Republicans opposed to the nomination and give Liu an up-or-down vote, but the vote fell short at 52-43.

A former clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Liu’s supporters say he has a brilliant legal mind and follows mainstream American jurisprudence, according to the Los Angeles Times. And at 40, if he were to ascend to the 9th Circuit, he could one day be the first Asian-American nominee to the Supreme Court.

But Liu's critics say the professor is too liberal and doesn't have enough practical legal experience.

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