U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted on Monday to confirm Patricia Millett to join the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The final vote was 56-38. Murkowski and Susan Collins of Maine were the only two Republican senators to vote for Millett’s confirmation.
Millett was the first to win confirmation since the Senate weakened the filibuster rules, which now only require a simple majority, instead of a vote of 60 to end a filibuster.
Millett’s approval means that now, among the nine circuit judges, five of them are Democratic appointees. The D.C. Court of Appeals is considered one of the most important courts in the nation because it handles cases regarding federal regulations.
Following Millett’s vote, Murkowski voted against confirming Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to serve as the next head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and federal home loan banks. Watt was confirmed by a vote of 57 to 41.
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