The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on three judicial nominees April 14, including Thomas Griffith, a nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, who now stands first in line among appellate court nominees for a floor vote. Surprisingly, Griffith won the support for four liberal Democrats–Senators Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Herb Kohl (Wis.)–along with the 10 GOP committee members. The panel unanimously approved two District Court nominees: Robert Conrad, Jr. and James Dever III. But the real showdown is set for next week when appellate court nominees Terrence Boyle, Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen are scheduled for votes. Brown and Owen were filibustered in the President Bush’s first term, and some insiders believe a move to schedule a floor vote on either of them would finally trigger the “nuclear” showdown over ending judicial filibusters.
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