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Apart from Mr. Liu, they include Edward Chen, Louis B. Butler Jr. and John J. McConnell, Jr., all nominated to become U.S. District Court judges.

Mr. Liu is a dean at the University of California law school at Berkeley and the best known of the four. Supporters and critics alike speak of him as a potential future selection for the Supreme Court by a Democratic president. He also could be the first Supreme Court nominee of Asian-American descent.

Republicans have attacked his nomination from the first.

At his committee confirmation hearing, Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, noted Mr. Liu’s criticism when Samuel A. Alito Jr. was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. At the time, Mr. Liu said Justice Alito’s vision was an America “where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy … where federal agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no sign of resistance … where the FBI may install a camera where you sleep … where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man, absent … analysis showing discrimination.”

Mr. Kyl called those comments “vicious and emotionally and racially charged.”

Mr. Liu said he used “unnecessarily colorful language” and added, “I have the highest regard for Justice Alito’s career.” He said those remarks followed a 14-page analysis of Justice Alito’s rulings.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who supported Mr. Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, called Mr. Liu “a bridge too far for me. He should take those views and run for office.”