Senate advances Obama’s judicial nominee

The Senate voted 54-43 Wednesday to end debate on the nomination of Ronnie White to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern Missouri.

Some Republicans objected to White’s nomination, saying he was an activist judge while serving on the Missouri Supreme Court in the 1990s.

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“Justice White misapplied standards of review or considered issues that were not germane to the law when deciding cases,” Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). “We see Justice White’s personal preferences creeping into what should be straightforward decision making.”

Since Democrats used the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change the Senate filibuster rules last year, they needed only a simple majority to advance his nomination. Previously it would have required 60 votes.

President Clinton nominated White in 1999, but the Senate blocked his confirmation.

White’s final confirmation vote will occur around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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