“Mr. Phillips has all the characteristics necessary to serve as an appellate judge,” Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziOvernight Energy: Obama integrates climate change into national security planning Senate panel approves pension rescue for coal miners GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Wyo.) said ahead of the vote. “He’s regarded as a talented and respected attorney.”
“Phillips will be an outstanding judge,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoSenators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout' GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Tribes open new front in fight over pipelines MORE (R-Wyo.) added.
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.) said judicial nominees shouldn’t be about “partisan tit-for-tat” and said he hopes the Senate will confirm several other Obama nominees later this week.
If Republicans continue to block Obama's cabinet nominees, some Democrats have pushed for the "nuclear option" — changing the rules on a simple-majority vote — but it is unclear if it will come to that.