AP reports that, as expected,
After two straight nights of often droning, sometimes angry debate, the Senate returned to normal order Friday, with Democrats maintaining their filibuster on a judicial nominee they say is too conservative for the American mainstream.
With a 53-42 vote, Democrats succeeded in stopping further action on President Bush’s nomination of Texas judge Priscilla Owen to a seat on a U.S. appeals court. Sixty votes were needed to end the filibuster and bring on a final confirmation vote.
It was the fourth time Republicans have failed to advance the Owen nomination. Despite the nearly 40 hours of exhaustive debate on what the GOP says is Democratic obstructionism on judges, they failed to win a single new Democratic vote. As in past votes, only two Democrats, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Zell Miller of Georgia, voted with the Republicans.
The Senate was also voting to break Democratic resistance to two other nominees, and Republicans, who hold 51 seats in the Senate, conceded they would fall short as they have on a dozen previous votes on controversial appeals court nominees.
As much as I dislike what the Democrats are doing here, the GOP response to it has been rather silly. A pseudo-filibuster–where most Senators were actually allowed to be elsewhere–by the side with the majority is a head scratcher. What it was supposed to accomplish is rather unclear.
(Hat tip: Steven Taylor)