On a vote of 55 to 43, the Senate confirmed Robert L. Wilkins, who had been rejected by
The confirmation ends for now the battle over the 11-seat appellate court, which is often considered second to the
Obama had nominated Wilkins and two others to the court last summer, only to see their confirmations blocked by GOP filibusters.
Democrats argued that Republicans were blocking the
Republicans countered that Obama was trying to pack the court with liberal allies, and said the court was not busy enough to require that all its judicial positions be filled.
Obama had called Wilkins a "principled attorney of the utmost integrity" in nominating him to the bench.