GOP senators block DC Circuit nominee; will Democrats change filibuster rules?

President Obama’s nomination of Patricia Ann Millett to a federal appeals court was blocked today when the Senate vote to end a Republican filibuster fell five votes short.

A partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Millett was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Shortly after the vote, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Democrats will have to consider limiting filibusters, the New York Times, The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times and the Washington Post report.

The Times says it’s unclear whether Leahy will get support for the so-called nuclear option. “Whether Democrats have the stomach for another tense and consuming fight over the filibuster is an open question,” the story says.

Millett has argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans contend the D.C. Circuit’s workload doesn’t require additional judges, and they accuse the Obama administration of trying to shift the appeals court to the left.

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