The Blog of Legal Times reports that Goodwin Liu, nominated by President Obama to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, might become the first Obama judicial nominee to be successfully filibustered. Three Republican Senators, Lindsey Graham, Johnny Isakson, and John McCain, all of whom rarely support such judicial nominee filibusters, have expressed their support for a filibuster of Liu in light of his 2006 testimony opposing the confirmation of Justice Alito.
In the testimony, Liu, a law professor and associate dean at the University of California at Berkeley's law school, criticized Justice Alito's record while on the 3d Circuit, saying, among other things, that such a record "envisions an America" where "police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse."
Liu has since apologized for this portion of his testimony. However, Lindsey Graham states:
Basically, Mr. Liu went after Alito's character and (said) that people with a judicial philosophy like Judge Alito's must want America to go backwards. Well, I sure don't want America to go backwards, so that's why I'm voting no.
Among the Republicans planning to filibuster or vote "no" on the nomination, one Democrat, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, has said that he will also vote "no," but he will not support the filibuster.