Senate votes to approve judicial nomination

Ahead of the vote on Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins (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.”

Republican Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), John Boozman (Ark.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), James Risch (Idaho), Tom Coburn (Okla) and David Vitter (La.) voted against Kayatta's confirmation.

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

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (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.

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