WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — President Barack Obama has been handed his first Senate defeat of a judicial nominee. Republicans mustered enough votes to continue their filibuster against University of California, Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu.

The 40-year-old Liu could one day be a dream Supreme Court candidate for liberals.

Democrats needed 60 votes to end the blocking tactics and give Liu an up-or-down vote. The vote to end the filibuster fell short of that, at 52-43.

Republicans argued that Liu is a liberal ideologue who would bring his views with him to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals. They objected to Liu’s sharp criticisms of Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when they were Republican nominees.

Democrats said Liu, Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, is a scholar who received the American Bar Association’s top rating.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (5)
  1. Big G says:

    Why do us citizens elect the other 2 branches of Gov’t, yet have no say in matter of electing Judges. Instead we get both parties & the President vying for power by controlling the whole scam!!! There is no checks & balances to this method, its party choice, not what Americans want or deserve!!!

    1. JL says:

      Because even unpopular minorities have Constitutional rights, and in our checks-and-balances system, an independent judicial branch makes it harder for 51% of the population to disenfranchise the other 49%.

      1. Stuart says:

        Except in this case, JL, with the filibuster in the Senate, it’s 40% dictating to the 60%….

      2. joe says:

        No, niether side is able to insert the radical judge they want. They are forced to find moderate judges who are acceptable to all. That is a good thing.

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