"As the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge and to serve on the federal bench, he will be a symbol of how much we have achieved as a country in just the last few decades," said Schumer. " ... Paul Oetken's modest but brave act of going through the confirmation process makes this otherwise quiet moment historic."

In the minutes leading up to the vote, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel McConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report MORE (Iowa), also spoke in support of Oetken’s confirmation.

"I support this nomination and I congratulate him on his professional accomplishments," said Grassley. 

Since no senator attempted to block Oetken's confirmation, the vote required a simple majority to pass.

Republicans who voted against confirmation were Sens. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAs Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural McConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report MORE (Ky.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerMcConnell reelected as leader, Thune promoted to whip Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle GOP's Wicker reelected in Mississippi Senate race MORE (Miss.), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker McConnell: Congress aiming for deal on sexual harassment bill this year The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Leadership elections in Congress | Freshman lawmakers arrive | Trump argues he can restrict reporter access MORE (Mo.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBooker to campaign for Dem in Mississippi Senate runoff Hyde-Smith dismisses comments about making voting harder for liberal students as a joke Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP MORE (Miss.), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Divided Congress to clash over Space Force, nuclear arsenal Overnight Defense: Mattis officially approves troops for border | Number to be deployed unclear | Key official confirms plan to trim defense budget | Putin invited to DC next year MORE (Idaho), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOn The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Waters defends planned probe of Trump finances after GOP backlash MORE (Idaho), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanOvernight Defense: Duncan Hunter refusing to step down from committees | Trump awards Medal of Honor to widow of airman | Pentagon names pick for Mideast commander Trump awards posthumous Medal of Honor to family of fallen Air Force sergeant GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (Ark.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEvangelical leader: Not worth risking ties with Saudi Arabia over missing journalist GOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress allows farm bill to lapse before reauthorization deadline MORE (Kan.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMcConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill Senate Republicans demand Google hand over memo advising it to hide data vulnerability MORE (Kan.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGinsburg attends Medal of Freedom ceremony amid recovery from fall Utah New Members 2019 Congress braces for high-drama lame duck MORE (Utah), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeTrump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill Senators return to Washington intent on action against Saudis MORE (Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) and Jim DeMint (S.C.).