WASHINGTON (AP) - California law professor Goodwin Liu will be a test case of President Barack Obama's ability to win confirmation for a liberal appeals court nominee.
Round One is today, when Liu - nominated for a San Francisco-based appeals court - appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee to face Republicans staunchly opposed to his liberal views.
The nomination also will test Republican muscle to block Obama's court picks now that Democrats no longer have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes.
Republicans have marked Liu as a liberal judicial activist. Democrats describe the former Rhodes Scholar and assistant dean at the University of California, Berkeley, as a brilliant law professor.