The Senate narrowly confirmed David J. Barron, the author of a controversial memo justifying drone attacks on American citizens, to a circuit court judgeship Thursday. Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia were the only Democrats to break party ranks and vote against the nomination. The vote was 53-45.
Barron will be a judge for the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Barron's appointment was most vigorously opposed by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. After last year's use of the "nuclear option" eliminating the 60-vote rule, only a simple majority is needed to confirm most judicial nominees.