The Senate’s 52-43 vote to end debate on his nomination all but ensures Barron, a former
On the eve of the vote, the Justice Department announced it would release a long-sought secret document laying out the legal justification for using drones to kill American citizens suspected of terrorist activities abroad. Before this week, the Obama administration had fought the public release of the document and offered to show only unredacted copies privately to senators. Democrats were among those who pressed for access to the document as a precondition for even considering Barron's confirmation.
Paul, who said he had read the memo, attempted to delay the Senate's action Wednesday morning, to no avail.
"Some have argued that releasing these memos is sufficient for his nomination," Paul said. "This is not a debate about transparency. This is a debate about whether or not American citizens, not involved in combat, are guaranteed due process."
Though Paul had threatened to filibuster the nomination, his speech lasted just over half an hour. That was far short of the nearly 13-hour speech he gave on the Senate floor in 2013 to protest drone killings, a move that briefly delayed the confirmation of
"This whole matter is about much more than a single memo. It drives home how incredibly important vigorous congressional oversight is," Wyden said.
Barron already had the full support of Senate leaders. Majority Leader
Barron's now-likely confirmation comes as other Obama nominees are still facing delays in the Senate, even after Democrats moved to lower the threshold for overcoming a filibuster from 60 votes to a simple majority. Reid threatened earlier this week to consider further changes to Senate rules to end what he said was Republican obstruction.