Senate votes to approve judicial nomination

Ahead of the vote on Wednesday, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Swing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks MORE (R-Maine) said President Obama couldn’t have made a better choice in his nomination.

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“Mr. Kayatta is an attorney of exceptional intelligence and has demonstrated integrity,” Collins said. “I cannot tell you how highly regarded he is in the Maine legal community.”

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Collins said Kayatta’s nomination was held up last year because of “election year politics.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Leahy wants Judiciary hearing on Yahoo Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI probes possible hack of Dems' phones | Trump's '400-pound hacker' | Pressure builds on Yahoo | Poll trolls run wild MORE (D-Vt.) apologized for the delay, but added that the committee moved Kayatta’s nomination quickly.

“I am sorry that it has taken so long,” Leahy said. “I’m glad he’ll finally receive a vote.”

Leahy said partisan delays on judicial nominations have hurt the "integrity" and “politicized” the courts.