Republicans block nominee to key appeals court

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Associated Press

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 4:36 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans have blocked another of President Barack Obama's nominees to a powerful appeals court.

Monday's vote stopped the nomination of Robert L. Wilkins, a District Court judge in Washington, from filling one of three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Wilkins is the third straight nominee to the court that Republicans have halted.

The Senate voted 53-38 in favor of ending Republican-led delays, but 60 votes were needed to move Wilkins' nomination forward.

In the last three weeks, Republicans have also blocked a pair of nominees to the court, considered one of the most important in the country because it rules on administration orders and regulations.

The court's eight current justices are divided evenly between Democratic and Republican nominees.

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