"As the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge and to serve on the federal bench, he will be a symbol of how much we have achieved as a country in just the last few decades," said Schumer. " ... Paul Oetken's modest but brave act of going through the confirmation process makes this otherwise quiet moment historic."

In the minutes leading up to the vote, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyMnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators Business groups express support for Branstad nomination 10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality MORE (Iowa), also spoke in support of Oetken’s confirmation.

"I support this nomination and I congratulate him on his professional accomplishments," said Grassley. 

Since no senator attempted to block Oetken's confirmation, the vote required a simple majority to pass.

Republicans who voted against confirmation were Sens. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches Overnight Healthcare: Burwell huddles with Dems on fighting ObamaCare repeal Reid: Bring back the earmarks MORE (Ky.), Roger WickerRoger WickerFCC chairman willing to resign to get colleague confirmed GOP eager to see Harry Reid go Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules MORE (Miss.), Roy BluntRoy BluntSanders: GOP blocked 'Trump proposal' to lower drug prices McConnell: We'll start Obamacare repeal on day one Could bipartisanship rise with Trump government? MORE (Mo.), Thad CochranThad CochranGOP senators voice misgivings about short-term spending bill Trump's wrong to pick Bannon or Sessions for anything Bottom Line MORE (Miss.), Jim RischJim RischGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election GOP to Obama: Sanction Chinese entities to get to North Korea Research: Infrastructure systems easy to hack, a little slow to patch MORE (Idaho), Mike CrapoMike CrapoRyan lights Capitol Christmas tree Ex-Im faces new problems with Trump GOP debates going big on tax reform MORE (Idaho), John BoozmanJohn BoozmanArk., Texas senators put cheese dip vs. queso to the test Deficits could stand in the way of Trump's agenda The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (Ark.), Pat RobertsPat RobertsSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules GOP debates going big on tax reform Memo to the LGBT community: Donald Trump is not your enemy MORE (Kan.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Overnight Tech: Bill protecting online reviews heads to Obama | New addition to FCC transition team | Record Cyber Monday Overnight Finance: Trump expected to pick Steven Mnuchin for Treasury | Budget chair up for grabs | Trump team gets deal on Carrier jobs MORE (Kan.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: Senate Dems dig in as shutdown looms | Trump taps fast-food exec for Labor chief | Portland's new CEO tax Mnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators Overnight Finance: Trump blasts Carrier's union leader | What's in the spending bill | Jamie Dimon gets perch for Trump era | AT&T, Time Warner execs grilled MORE (Utah), Mike LeeMike LeeSenate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Overnight Healthcare: Medical cures bill finally heads to White House Overnight Energy: Trump taps EPA foe to head agency | Energy reform bill officially dead MORE (Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Jim DeMint (S.C.).