Both parties were closely watching Srinivasan's path to confirmation as a test case for other high-profile Obama nominations to come. The court on which he will serve is considered the most important in the country after the Supreme Court and often decides cases involving government regulations and the power of federal agencies. Its judges have become Supreme Court justices. But Thursday's vote resolved only one of several messy confirmation battles that are brewing. Democrats are discussing rewriting Senate rules to prevent Republicans from forcing a 60-vote supermajority on cabinet-level nominees, a procedure that before this year had been used just twice in nearly 100 years.
Frustrations in the Senate over the slow pace of approval for President Obama's second-term cabinet deepened Thursday even as the Senate voted 97 to 0 to confirm Obama's nominee for a long-vacant seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, says the New York Times. That vote to confirm the nominee, Sri Srinivasan, which was added to the calendar at the last minute after Republicans dropped objections that would have delayed it two more weeks.