Republicans are taking out their frustration with President Obama on U.C. Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu. Liu was up for a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals, but Senate Republicans managed to muster enough votes for a filibuster.
That means the Senate cannot vote to place him on the court.
Democrats needed 60 votes to end the filibuster, but fell eight votes short.
Republicans say Liu is a liberal ideologue who would bring his views with him to the San Francisco-based court. They are upset with Liu's criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when they were Republican nominees to the court.
Democrats say Liu is a scholar who received the American Bar Association's top rating.
This is the Presidents first defeat when it comes to judicial nominees.