Dems beat filibuster of Obama judicial nominee

Eight months after the president made David Hamilton his first appointment to the bench, a win

Published November 17, 2009 10:08PM (EST)

When President Obama picked Judge David Hamilton as his first judicial nominee, it was because Hamilton was seen as a moderate, someone who wouldn't face much opposition and would be easy to confirm. Eight months later, Hamilton has only now cleared the last procedural roadbloack on his way to being confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Senate Republicans had been blocking Hamilton's confirmation due to concerns about him from social conservatives. But when it finally came time for a cloture motion, which ends debate and allows the Senate to move on to a final up-or-down vote, Hamilton's supporters prevailed easily. In order to successfully invoke cloture, Senate Democrats needed 60 votes -- they ended up with 70. 29 senators voted against.

The chamber still hasn't officially confirmed Hamilton, however. That vote, which is just a formality at this point, is expected to come later this week.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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