Ahead of the vote, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) — who is retiring after this year — said he was proud of all the judges he had proposed to serve Connecticut during his time in the Senate, including Shea.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) questioned why it took seven months for Shea's confirmation to come to the floor from committee.
“His nomination has been stalled for no good reason,” Leahy said. “We gave him a bipartisan vote out of committee more than seven months ago. So I have to ask why it took seven months? … Republican obstruction.”
Leahy called on the Senate to vote on the 17 pending judicial nominations before the end of the year so that the backlog doesn’t get pushed into next year.
Ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he supported Shea’s nomination, but that it was uncommon to hold judicial nomination votes during the lame duck session.
Republican Sens. Mike Crapo (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Mike Lee (Utah), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), David Vitter (La.), John Cornyn (Texas), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), James Risch (Idaho), John Thune (S.D.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Thad Cochran (Miss), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against Shea's confirmation.