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Senate confirms Obama's earliest judicial nominee after delay

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] on Thursday voted 59-39 [roll call vote] to confirm Judge David Hamilton to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website], overcoming Republican opposition to secure President Barack Obama's first and longest-delayed judicial nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] said a Republican filibuster delayed [press release] the vote for five-and-a-half months, since it was first put on the Senate's executive calendar on June 4. On Tuesday, the Senate broke the Republican filibuster, voting 70-29 [roll call vote] to bring debate over the nomination to an end. Obama nominated Hamilton on March 17 and he is Obama's eighth judicial nominee [materials] to be confirmed by the Senate. The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary [official website], which rates judicial nominees, unanimously gave Hamilton its highest rating [ratings, PDF] of "well qualified."

Hamilton's confirmation comes less than two weeks after the Senate confirmed [JURIST report] Judge Andre Davis to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website], by a vote of 72-16 [roll call vote]. Obama's other judicial nominee confirmations [materials] include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor [JURIST news archive], Second Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch, and three federal district court judges.

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