The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on Thursday to advance the nomination of law professor Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals , signaling they’re not ready to give up on one of President Barack Obama’s most controversial nominees.

Liu’s nomination now heads back to the full Senate, where a protracted fight awaits. Republicans have not ruled out a filibuster — a tactic that Democrats used against some of President George W. Bush’s nominees and that could become much more effective if Republicans gain a significant number of seats with the November elections.

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