Controversial Nominee Splits Judiciary Committee

Posted May 13, 2010 at 11:52am

A divided Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday to approve the nomination of Goodwin Liu to serve on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Liu has emerged as President Barack Obama’s most controversial judicial pick. Republicans have sought to prevent the nominee from serving on the 9th Circuit, which they often criticize for being the most liberal in the country. Republicans say Liu has a thin professional record and extreme legal views. They also blasted the nominee for submitting an incomplete questionnaire to the committee.

Liu’s nomination now heads to the floor, where it likely will linger while the chamber turns its focus to the Supreme Court debate. On Thursday, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) released a list of questions for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who could testify before the panel as early as next month.