WASHINGTON—Democrats on Tuesday crushed a Senate filibuster against a controversial appeals court nominee, demonstrating to Republicans they can’t stop President Barack Obama from turning the federal judiciary to the left.The 70-29 vote limited debate over the qualifications of U.S. District Judge David Hamilton of Indiana, and assured his elevation to the Chicago-based appeals court. Sixty votes were needed to end the filibuster, but confirmation only requires a simple majority of the 100-member Senate.
Ten Republicans went against their own party leaders and voted to limit debate.
The vote emphatically warned Republicans that with only 40 senators, they’re too outnumbered to prevent Obama from making major inroads into a judiciary that was populated over eight years with conservative judges chosen by President George W. Bush.
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