Well done, Senate Republicans.
(Politico) — Senate Republicans staged the first successful filibuster of a judicial nominee since 2005 on Thursday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration on the long-stalled nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The final vote was 52-43, eight votes shy of the 60 needed to overcome the filibuster. Only one Republican joined Democrats in supporting Liu, and only one Democrat voted no to opening debate on the 40-year-old University of California, Berkeley professor’s nomination.
The filibuster will be met with disappointment from both progressives and Asian-American groups that advocated for Liu and hoped to see him seated on the Western court that covers a region of the country with a significant Asian-American population. Liu even received support from some prominent conservative legal figures, including Ken Starr and John Yoo.
The procedural maneuver also upsets a six-year détente on filibustering judicial nominations. During the George W. Bush administration, a bipartisan group called the Gang of 14 agreed to vote to open debate on every judicial nominee who came through the Senate except in “extraordinary circumstances.”