Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Priscilla Owen Confirmed As Federal Judge: "Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen won Senate confirmation as a federal appeals judge Wednesday after a ferocious four-year battle, a personal triumph that also marked a victory for President Bush in his drive to install conservatives on the nation's highest courts.

"The 55-43 vote was largely along party lines, and made the 50-year-old jurist the first of Bush's long-blocked nominees to win approval under a newly minted agreement by Senate centrists meant to end years of partisan gridlock."

"The final debate over Owen's nomination was utterly without suspense following Monday's 81-18 vote to advance her nomination to the brink of confirmation."

"Republicans said that over the years the Senate spent parts or all of 22 days debating her nomination—a total that Frist said exceeded the time devoted to all of the nine sitting members of the Supreme Court.

"On the final vote Owen drew support from 53 of the Senate's Republicans, as well as Democratic Sens. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Opposed were 41 Democrats, Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and James Jeffords of Vermont, an independent. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, a supporter of Owen, voted present. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, did not vote."

Democratic Senators not part of the compromise, voting in favor of cloture: Senator Inouye (D-HI) who was part of the original agreement to vote for cloture did not vote on cloture either way.

Particularly disappointing votes in favor of continuing the filibuster were Senators Biden (D-DE), Dodd (D-CT) and Feingold (D-WI).

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