The Senate voted 54-44 Thursday to end debate on the nomination of John Owens to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
Sen. Mike CrapoMike CrapoLive coverage of Sessions confirmation hearing Senate rejects Paul's balanced budget Dems attack Trump SEC pick's ties to Wall Street MORE (R-Idaho) said he opposed Owens’s nomination because he believes someone from his home state should hold that judicial seat. Owens is from California.
“This dispute is not about the qualification of Mr. Owens,” Crapo said. “But I cannot support a process that … leaves Idaho with only one seat on the circuit court of appeals.”
Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinFeinstein: Russia's interference affected outcome of election 'Future of America' at stake with hacking, Feinstein says Sunday shows preview: Trump allies appear after John Lewis criticism MORE (D-Calif.) said it is important to fill the seat because it has been vacant for more than nine years.
“It is the longest running vacancy in the entire federal judiciary,” Feinstein said. “It makes no sense for this seat on the busiest circuit to remain vacant any longer.”
Feinstein said California has significantly higher caseloads than Idaho and therefore deserves the seat.
Owens’s confirmation is possible later Thursday if a deal is struck.
The Senate also confirmed Matthew Tueller to be U.S. ambassador to Yemen by voice-vote.
— This article was updated at 2:38 p.m.