“Mr. Phillips has all the characteristics necessary to serve as an appellate judge,” Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Live coverage: Senate Republicans pass tax bill The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on Senate tax bill MORE (R-Wyo.) said ahead of the vote. “He’s regarded as a talented and respected attorney.”

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Enzi pointed out that Republican Gov. Matt Mead (Wyo.) appointed Phillips as Wyoming’s state attorney general, showing he has bipartisan support in the Senate and in his home state.

“Phillips will be an outstanding judge,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoScalise: House, Senate ‘pretty close’ on tax bill Top GOP senator: House and Senate 'not that far apart' on tax bill Sunday shows preview: Republicans take victory lap on taxes MORE (R-Wyo.) added.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign America isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Your tax dollars fund Afghan child rape 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.