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Filibuster showdown looming after Senate committee approves nominees

[JURIST] The Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Thursday approved two of President Bush's judicial nominees [JURIST news archive], sending the nominations to the full Senate in what could trigger a partisan face-off over the filibuster. With two 10-8 votes along party lines, the Committee approved the nominations of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown [Independent Judiciary profiles] to the 5th and 2nd Circuit Courts of Appeals, respectively. Both nominees were previously blocked by a Democratic filibuster during President Bush's first term, but he renominated them in January. Democrats have indicated they will again block the nominations in the full Senate, while Republicans have threatened to remove the filibuster [JURIST report] from Senate rules for judicial nominations. The change would allow judicial nominees to be approved with a simple majority vote rather than the 60-vote support currently needed. AP has more.

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