A senior Democratic senate source tells ThinkProgress that the Senate agreed to have a confirmation vote on the nomination of Paul Watford to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at 5:30 today. As we explained on Friday, Watford is one of President Obama’s most outstanding nominees — he is both relatively young and a former law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Watford’s confirmation also demonstrates the value of fighting to ensure that excellent nominees are confirmed. Earlier this year, when Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened to force seventeen successive votes to break Senate Republican filibusters on judges, the Republican caucus eventually caved and allowed 14 judges through. Today, Reid’s decision to force a vote on a Supreme Court-level talent ended the minority’s streak of preventing President Obama from placing judges on the federal appeals court who have backgrounds that suggest they could be up for a promotion in the future.
Watford was confirmed this evening 61-34.