Senate advances circuit court nominee

The Senate voted 62-34 Monday to advance President Obama’s nominee to join the Tenth Circuit Court.

The Senate voted to end debate on the nomination of Carolyn McHugh to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit. 

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Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said he strongly supported her nomination and urged his colleagues to do the same — she is from Utah.

“She is someone who has a keenly insightful legal mind,” Lee said ahead of the vote Monday. “Judge McHugh will in fact excel as a judge for the Tenth Circuit.”

There will be up to 30 hours of debate on her nomination before she is confirmed, but some of that time will likely be yielded back, allowing a vote sometime Tuesday.

Republicans have been forcing cloture votes and full debate on several of President Obama’s executive and judicial nominees since Democrats unilaterally changed the Senate filibuster rules through the “nuclear option” last year. Now only a simply majority is needed to advance most nominees, rather than the 60 votes previously needed.

Democrats are expected to use their debate time talking about climate change all night and into Tuesday morning.

Several more votes on judicial nominees are scheduled this week.

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