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Senate backs appeals court judge from Calif. as Dems protest

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 5/15/2019
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2017 file photo, a man stands outside the main door outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) © Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2017 file photo, a man stands outside the main door outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

WASHINGTON — The Senate has confirmed a Los Angeles lawyer as a federal appeals court judge, despite opposition from California's two Democratic senators.

The Senate voted, 52-45, Wednesdayto confirm Kenneth Lee's nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris opposed Lee, saying he failed to provide dozens of controversial writings on voting rights, race and sexual harassment.

Lee's approval continues a new trend by the GOP-controlled Senate to ignore a longtime custom on judicial nominees. The tradition allows home-state lawmakers to weigh in on a possible nominee, with opposition generally meaning the nomination does not move forward.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Lee well-qualified. Lee worked in the George W. Bush White House and attended law school with Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.

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