Senate Republicans delay controversial appellate court pick Goodwin Liu

Senate Republicans have delayed committee action on Goodwin Liu, President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaPoll: Trump gets historically low approval rating during first days as president With Obama’s forgiveness of Manning, justice takes a backseat to politics California state lawmaker wants schools to teach about Russian hacks MORE’s pick for the 9th Circuit appellate court, for one week.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee gathered in the President’s Room just off the Senate floor Thursday afternoon to consider Liu and several other nominees.

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The committee advanced four district court nominees but held up Liu, who has become a political lightning rod.

Republicans exercised their prerogative to delay a committee vote on Liu until next week. The four nominees advanced by the committee were also delayed a week by Republicans, according to a Democratic aide.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyVA leaving navy veterans adrift in sea of Agent Orange Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era Senate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick MORE (D-Vt.) has scheduled a panel vote on Liu for May 13.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseFive takeaways from Pruitt's EPA hearing Health pick’s trades put STOCK Act in spotlight Dems prepare to face off with Trump's pick to lead EPA MORE (D-R.I.), who attended the meeting, called the delay “standard operating procedure for Republicans.”

Whitehouse held a press conference earlier Thursday to highlight that Republicans have held up 96 of Obama’s nominees.

Whitehouse praised Liu’s qualifications: “He seems to be bright, professorial, talented.”

Liu’s nomination has come to be seen as a warm-up fight before the looming battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

The New York Times has described Liu as a “liberal rock star,” and some Republicans want to send a message to Obama not to pick an overly liberal successor to Stevens.