"The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sending him to the full Senate for consideration after a party-line vote of 12 Democrats in favor to 7 Republicans opposed," reports The New York Times' Charlie Savage.
The Committee also approved without opposition the nominations of federal prosecutor Ray Lohier to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Magistrate Judge Leonard Stark to the District of Delaware. Both nominations were forwarded to the Senate floor without dissent.
The debate on Liu, a Berkeley Law professor and former ACS board chair, has "increasingly become a proxy for Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court," the Blog of the Legal Times suggested, with Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Committee's ranking member stating, that, "In Solicitor General Kagan, President Obama has chosen another academic who has focused on policy the majority of her career, including in the Clinton White House, and who has never been a judge or seriously practiced law."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein responded by highlighting three appellate judges who came from law schools and who were in their 30s when nominated by a Republican president: Frank Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit, Kimberly Moore of the Federal Circuit, and J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the Fourth Circuit.