Almost a pity, in its way: the Ninth Circus has a certain reputation of being where we put the more... awkward... liberal judges. You know: the ones who might as well write their decisions in crayon and/or Comic Sans, because they're just going to get overruled on appeal anyway.
Background here: suffice it to say that Liu had issues with both his judicial philosophy and, frankly, his experience. The final score was: 52 for cloture, 43 against, 1 present, 4 not voting. The vote split along party lines, with Murkowski voting for cloture, Hatch voting present, and Vitter/Moran/Hutchinson not voting on our side; I don't know if the last three have a legitimate excuse for not being there. Note, though, that of that list only one (Hatch) is actually up for re-election in the near future...
Good job to everybody that called on this one.
Moe Lane (crosspost)