It looks like the judicial nomination of Berkeley Law Dean Goodwin Liu is dead – at least for now.

President Obama will apparently let Goodwin’s nomination to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the nomination of Edward Chen of San Francisco, expire at the end of the year, according to news reports. It is part of a deal that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid worked out with his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell.  The Senate has agreed to approve the stalled judicial nominations of 19 uncontroversial nominees in exchange for not approving Liu and Chen, whom many Republicans view as too liberal, according to various news accounts.

But Liu’s nomination may be revived in 2011. Senator Barbara Boxer told The Mercury News that she still intends to fight to get him on the court.

“Professor Liu is an outstanding nominee and it is most unfortunate that my Republican colleagues are blocking an up-or-down vote on his nomination,” Boxer told the Mercury on Tuesday. “I will keep fighting until he is confirmed.”

Liu is an associate dean and professor at Berkeley Law School. He joined the faculty in 2003.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...