Senate poised to confirm Trump judicial nominee labeled 'not qualified'
© Getty Images

The Senate is poised to confirm a judicial pick rated "not qualified" by the American Bar Association (ABA). 

Senators voted 48-47 on Monday night to end debate on Leonard Steven Grasz's nomination to be a circuit judge for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The vote was held open for roughly an hour and a half as Republicans tried to round up missing members in order to lock down the simple majority needed to clear the procedural hurdle.

Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDem lawmaker 'confident' bipartisan group will strike deal on border funding Congress in painful start to avoid second shutdown Republicans want Trump to keep out of border talks MORE (R-N.D.) arrived just after 7 p.m. to give Republicans their 48th vote, avoiding a tie. 
The move sets up a final vote on Grasz's nomination as late as Wednesday morning, if Democrats drag out all the debate time. 

Grasz was the second of Trump's judicial nominees to receive a "not qualified" rating from the ABA. 

"As you know, the Standing Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament," the outside group wrote to Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin MORE (R-Iowa) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE (D-Calif.), the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
The Trump administration notified the ABA in March that it was ending its long-standing practice of inviting its independent Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary to review the professional qualifications of prospective nominees to the lower federal courts on a pre-nomination basis.
"This is indicative of what has become part of the Republican playbook, the playbook that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE specializes in and unfortunately my colleagues are joining right in. If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger," he added. 
The Senate's vote comes after Grasz was confirmed by the Judiciary Committee last week, despite Democratic objections that Republicans were rushing Trump's judicial nominees. 
But Republicans are expected to line up behind Grasz's nomination during a final confirmation vote later this week. 
Grasz, a senior counsel at a firm in Omaha, previously served as the chief deputy attorney general for the state of Nebraska.