As anticipated by my lengthier blog post this morning, Professor Goodwin Liu’s nomination to be a federal appellate judge has been successfully filibustered by Senate Republicans opposed to his judicial philosophy.

The vote was 52-43 in favor of voting on the nomination, but the motion to invoke cloture and take an up-0r-down vote on Liu required the support of at least 60 senators.

In all likelihood, this vote means that Liu’s nomination is effectively dead. This was almost certainly a foregone conclusion, and the cloture motion here was being used by Senate Democrats as a way of putting Republican opponents on record as filibustering this nomination before next year’s elections.

For more on Liu’s nomination, including the role of our organization and its PBS documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, see here.

At this hour, the U.S. Senate is meeting in executive session to debate the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

If Liu’s supporters are able to muster 60 votes in favor of cloture, which is scheduled to be voted on around 2:00pm ET, this will end the threatened filibuster and result in an up-or-down vote on the nomination itself.

The situation does not look promising for Professor Liu, as three key senators who believe that filibusters should be rare—John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)—have said they will vote to extend debate indefinitely, thus filibustering the nomination.

After the jump, I discuss the controversial video of Liu speaking at one of our events, and what role it does (and should) play in his nomination.

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The White House announced late yesterday that President Obama has re-nominated Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Professor Liu’s nomination became controversial when it was discovered that he had addressed the subject of reparations for slavery on a panel following a special screening of our documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, in Washington, D.C. in 2008. Liu’s scholarship has also drawn considerable attention for its intellectual heft and for what conservative senators have declared to be a left-leaning philosophical approach to the law.

Professor Liu was originally nominated to the appellate judgeship in February, and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 12-7 vote. His nomination expired, however, when the Senate recessed in August without having held a full vote.

Professor Liu’s nomination, along with several others who were re-nominated yesterday, must now pass the Senate Judiciary Committee again. A committee meeting has been scheduled for Thursday at which these nominations will be discussed.

President Obama’s nomination of controversial law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has been blocked by Senate Republicans and returned to the White House.

Professor Liu became the subject of controversy in late March, in part due to remarks he made on a panel convened to discuss our documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North. That evening, in response to the topic of reparations for slavery, Liu observed that any effort to compensate for our nation’s history of slavery and racial discrimination would inevitably require trade-offs which would diminish the privileges enjoyed by people who benefit from that history today.

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“Quick Takes” offers a mix of interesting news, opinion, and research related to race, privilege, and inequality.

Today’s “Quick Takes” includes discussion of Europe and reparations for slavery, Native American team mascots, the contributions of immigrants to Arizona’s economy, questions about the Tea Party and race, and the media’s negative portrayal of single black women.

Readers are encouraged to share these stories and to comment at the end of the post.

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Professor Henry Louis (“Skip”) Gates, Jr. has an op-ed in this morning’s New York Times in which he takes on the issue of reparations for slavery.

Gates will, no doubt, attract enough controversy for his general approach to the issue. He is convinced that our society must address the issue of reparations, and that we must reach a “just and lasting agreement,” which he believes will have to be “a judicious (if symbolic) gesture to match such a sustained, heinous crime.”

Remarks like these will land any public intellectual in the U.S. in hot water these days. Just consider the case of Goodwin Liu, whose mild remarks related to reparations at one of our events in 2008 became a central issue in his nomination by President Obama for a seat on the Ninth Circuit.

However, this essay is most notable for telling difficult truths about the central role of Africans in the transatlantic slave trade, and thus about the shared culpability of people of different races in the resulting history of slavery.

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