After months in limbo, President Moon Jae-in's pick to lead the Constitutional Court chief has failed to get the nod of approval from parliament.
The National Assembly speaker used his authority to put the long-overdue confirmation motion up for a vote, but he fell short of a majority.
Kim Yi-su's confirmation hearing was held back in June, but the opposition stood in the way, saying his political orientation made him unfit for the job.
It also marks the first time in South Korea's history that a confirmation motion failed to pass for Constitutional Court chief, and also the first that President Moon's pick had failed to win support of the paliament.
Frustrated at the result, the top office criticized the decision as irresponsible.
The rejection raises doubts over whether President Moon's policy agenda will move forward, as the ruling party lacks a majority in the 299-seat assembly.