Senate Democrats were able to confirm the former director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island to a lifetime federal judgeship after 11 Republicans voted to close debate on the nomination and allow it to come up for a final vote. As a lawyer, the new judge was also involved in litigation against the tobacco industry and a failed lawsuit against former manufacturers of lead paint. The cloture vote on the nomination of John J. "Jack" McConnell was 63 to 33 with 1 senator voting present and 2 senators not voting at all. Had 4 of the 11 Republicans who voted for cloture not done so, the nomination would have failed. A cloture vote requires 60 votes to succeed. All 11 Republicans who voted for cloture turned around and voted against the nomination itself on the final vote.
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