Goodwin Liu withdraws appeals court nomination

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Goodwin Liu is telling President Barack Obama he is withdrawing his nomination to an appeals court judgeship 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 he is dropping the fight because 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.