WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 2011 ( – For the first time since Obama took office, the Senate GOP has managed to block one of the president’s federal court appointees, defeating the radically pro-abortion University of California-Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu.


A filibuster effort proved successful Thursday afternoon after the Senate voted 52-43 to open debate over Liu’s appointment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, eight votes short of the necessary 60.

Liu had been nominated once before for the appeals court slot by President Obama, but the nomination expired with the end of the 111th congress, following negotiations between the two parties. Obama renominated him in January.

Liu is a legal scholar known for supporting Roe v. Wade and for his antipathy towards conservatism in the courts, including the Supreme Court. In 2005, Liu called the nomination of conservative and pro-life Supreme Court Justice John Roberts a “worrisome prospect,” naming his “unfriendly” attitude towards legalized abortion as a “cause for concern.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America had hailed Liu’s nomination, pointing to his tenure at the extremely liberal University of Berkeley, and noting his defense of abortion in scholarly writings.

According to conservative legal analyst and top commentator Ed Whelan, Liu’s liberal tendencies are so extreme that he was at first vetoed by former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, himself a 100% pro-abortion rated politician, on the ground that his record was too controversial.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican to vote against the filibuster, and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson the only Democrat to support it.

According to FOX News, Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Liu’s writings “reveal 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.”

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, hailed Liu’s defeat, calling the vote “a victory for the rule of law and a sound defeat for judicial activism.”