Three Republicans who have rarely supported filibusters of judicial nominees said today they will vote to filibuster appellate nominee Goodwin Liu, a bad omen for Liu a day before a crucial Senate vote.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.) and John McCain (Ariz.) said they plan to vote against ending debate on Liu’s nomination. The vote is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, and Liu needs 60 votes to advance to a final confirmation vote. A judicial nominee of President Barack Obama has never been successfully filibustered, but Liu may be the first.
“When Mr. Liu came to the Judiciary Committee and said that, basically, Judge Alito’s philosophy judicially takes us back to the Jim Crow Era, that to me showed an ideological superiority or disdain for conservative ideology that made him in my view an ideologue,” Graham told reporters off the Senate floor.
Graham added: “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.”