Senate confirms Obama’s judicial nominees

The Senate voted to confirm three district court judges Tuesday.

Republicans forced cloture votes on all of the nominees to protest Democrats’ use of the “nuclear option” last year.

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Democrats unilaterally changed Senate filibuster rules so that a simple-majority can advance most judicial and executive branch nominees. Prior to the rule change, 60 votes were needed.

Republicans have argued that the use of the nuclear option has negatively changed the Senate forever by limiting the minority party’s rights. But Democrats argued it was necessary to overcome Republican obstruction of qualified nominees.

“[Republicans] are deliberately obstructing and placing roadblocks so that each and every confirmation takes as long as humanly possible," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said. "Republicans may see this as retribution for the rules change that occurred last year, but their steadfast obstruction only hurts the American people.”

James Moody Jr., was confirmed to be U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas on a 95-4 vote.

On a 90-5 vote, James Donato was confirmed to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California.

And Beth Labson Freeman was confirmed to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California on a 91-7 vote.

On Monday, the Senate voted 91-2 to confirm Jeff Meyer to serve as U.S. District Judge for Connecticut.

Now that work is complete on the nominations, the Senate will begin considering an omnibus veterans bill.