Goodwin Liu withdraws: The president's judicial nominee officially takes himself out of consideration.

The law, lawyers, and the court.
May 25 2011 6:23 PM

Goodwin Liu Withdraws

President Obama's  nominee to be a federal judge on the 9th Circuit takes himself out of consideration.

University of California at Berkley Law Professor Goodwin Liu. Click image to expand.
Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu, President Obama's nominee for a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, sent a letter to the president a few hours ago officially withdrawing his name from consideration. Liu's nomination was filibustered in the Senate last week, when Republicans (and one Democrat) refused to give Liu an up-or-down vote.

In his letter, linked here, Liu makes reference to last week's failed cloture vote and the judicial vacancy crisis at the 9th Circuit, to which he was nominated more than a year ago. "With no possibility of an up-or-down vote on the horizon, my family and I have decided that it is time for us to regain the ability to make plans for the future," he writes. He then thanks the president for his support.


Liu was caricatured as a left-wing "radical" and "activist" although he had the unconditional backing of conservatives such as Kenneth Starr and Clint Bolick. Yet Republicans who were willing to judge him in print and on the Senate floor were unwilling to put his nomination to a vote.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate. Follow her on Twitter.



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