UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu said in a letter to President Barack Obama Wednesday that he is bowing out of the nomination process to an appeals court position, as he felt there was not much chance the Senate would confirm his nomination, according to major media outlets.
Liu, who has been nominated for the position three consecutive times by Obama, was selected to be appointed to a vacant seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last year.
However, Democrats failed to come up with the 60 votes last week needed to end a Republican filibuster that included several senators who had previously pledged not to filibuster judicial nominees except under extraordinary circumstances, reports stated.
In the letter to Obama, Liu said the Ninth Circuit, including California and several other Western states, has a “desperate need for judges” and that “it is now clear that continuing (his) nomination will not address that need any time soon,” according to a copy obtained by the Associated Press.
Liu has been a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law since 2003 and specializes in constitutional law. When first nominated last year, Liu testified before the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, after which Republican senators confronted him with supplemental questions via email. Republicans voted along party lines in favor of bringing it to the full Senate but never voted to confirm the nomination.
Since Liu’s hearing, Republicans have continually questioned his qualifications for the position, stating that he lacks experience, and reiterated concerns about him promoting a liberal interpretation of the Constitution.
Katie Nelson is an assistant news editor.