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Kavanaugh judicial nomination moves to Senate floor after committee approval

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted 10-8 along party lines to send the circuit court nomination of White House aide Brett Kavanaugh [White House backgrounder] to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. Kavanaugh, who has been nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, faced probing questions [JURIST report] from committee members during a hearing Tuesday, one day after the American Bar Association [group website] lowered its rating [JURIST report] of Kavanaugh from "well qualified" to "qualified" [ratings, PDF; White House response]. Though it appears unlikely that Democrats will attempt to filibuster Kavanaugh's nomination, they have been vocal in their opposition to what they see as a nomination to a lifetime court appointment that carries political overtones, as Kavanaugh is a key aide in the Bush administration.

A filibuster is more likely for two other Bush nominees currently in the pipeline however, Judge Terrence Boyle [US DOJ backgrounder] to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Michael B. Wallace [official profile] to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Boyle allegedly presided over cases during which he should have recused himself, including a case where he allegedly bought General Electric stock midway through presiding over a pension lawsuit against the company. Wallace has garnered criticism from Democrats and the NAACP [advocacy website] among others for working to secure tax exemptions for the then-segregated Bob Jones University and also working with US Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) to require that plaintiffs in voting rights cases prove an intent to discriminate, rather than simply the effects of discrimination. AP has more.

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