The nomination of a liberal judicial candidate considered supportive, at least personally, of marriage equality, failed to muster enough votes in the U.S. Senate Thursday, May 19, to bring his confirmation to the floor.

The Senate voted 52 to 43 on a motion for cloture--to end debate on the nomination of California law professor Goodwin Liu. But such motions require 60 votes to pass, so the result blocked a vote for the confirmation vote.

President Obama nominated Liu to serve on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, where a large number of gay-related cases are working their way through the system.

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund supports Liu's nomination. Its legal director Jon Davidson said Liu will make an "excellent judge." Other LGBT groups agree.