Republicans have successfully filibustered the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The final vote in the Senate was 52-43, eight votes shy of the total needed to break the filibuster and force a final vote.
As Roll Call reports, “Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) voted present. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) was the only Republican to vote for cloture. Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) was the only Democrat to vote for the filibuster.”
The Liu nomination has been a source of controversy since the early days of the Obama Administration. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called him “a left-wing ideologue who views the role of a judge not as that of an impartial arbiter, but as someone who views the bench as a position of power.” This was a bullet point in Liu’s favor for most Democrats, who have the exact same view of the bench.
Liu’s thin resume was also cited against him, as were his intemperate remarks during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito. Liu tried to give Alito a full-on borking, saying the Supreme Court nominee’s record “envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse… where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man.”
It’s fair to note that Republicans were opposed to using filibusters against judicial nominees, back during the Bush years, when Democrats drove vast herds of filibuster across the plains. As Roll Call puts it, “Republicans blamed Democrats for creating the precedent of blocking court nominees and said they have only themselves to blame.”
Update: I love kung fu movies, and really enjoyed Gordon Liu’s chameleonic performances in the “Kill Bill” saga. (Did you know the head of the Crazy 88 gang was played by the same actor who appeared as the cranky old grandmaster? It’s true!)
He has not, however, submitted his candidacy for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m not saying he couldn’t, because he’s very versatile, but I think he’s got a thriving acting career to take care of. Sincere apologies for the confusion of names in the original draft of this article.
Now that Goodwin Liu’s got some time on his hands, he could do worse than giving Quentin Tarantino a call. He’s breathed new life into many a career!