WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has given preliminary approval to President Barack Obama's pick of David Barron to become a federal appeals court judge.
While at the Justice Department, Barron wrote secret documents providing the Obama administration's legal rationale for using drones to kill American terrorist suspects abroad.
By a 52-43 vote, the Senate cleared away procedural delays against Barron's nomination.
A final vote on putting Barron on the Boston-based appeals court is expected Thursday.
Barron's nomination advanced after the administration agreed to stop fighting a court order to release a censored version of one of Barron's memos.
As a result, at least two Democratic senators resistant to the nomination decided to back Barron.