Reid files cloture on judicial nominee

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a Thursday cloture vote on President Obama’s controversial nomination of Goodwin Liu to a federal appeals court.

The president nominated Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year and renominated him earlier this year, but so far Liu has been unable to overcome the threat of a GOP filibuster.

The fight to win his confirmation promises to be a tough one.

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Conservatives opposing Liu's confirmation fault him for a variety of reasons, including his opposition to two justices nominated by former President George W. Bush and confirmed to the court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Jack McConnell and Edward Chen, two other nominees to the courts by Obama, recently won confirmation to judicial positions despite cloture votes requiring the support of 60 senators. Eleven Republicans voted in favor of the cloture motion on McConnell’s nomination to serve as a district judge in Rhode Island.

But the fight over Liu is expected to be more difficult given opposition to his nomination from an array of conservative groups.

In announcing the cloture vote on the Senate floor, Reid complained that the threats used by Republicans to thwart Liu's consideration ought only to be deployed in extreme cases, and that Liu deserved an “up-or-down” vote.