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Goodwin Liu withdraws judicial nomination

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., with judicial nominee Goodwin Liu, and Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Daniel Inouye, D-Hi., on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.
AP Photo/Harry Hamburg

WASHINGTON - Appeals court judicial nominee Goodwin Liu says that although several Western states have a "desperate need for judges," he's dropping the fight.

Liu tells President Barack Obama he is withdrawing his nomination after Senate Republicans blocked a vote on his confirmation last week.

Liu is a liberal, 40-year-old Berkeley law professor who Obama nominated to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year.

In a letter to Obama Wednesday, Liu said there is little prospect of a Senate vote on his nomination. He said the 9th Circuit, including California and several other Western states, has a "desperate need for judges." The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

His nomination cheered liberal interest groups, but aroused strong opposition from Republicans who objected to his record and opposition to Republican Supreme Court nominees.