A state appeals court judge Thursday was confirmed by the Senate for a federal judgeship. In a 55-40 vote, senators approved President Donald Trump's nomination of Liles Burke to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Alabama, which includes Birmingham. Most Democrats voted against the nomination, but Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) asserted that Burke is "extremely qualified." Shelby criticized Democrats for "historic obstruction" of judicial nominees. Burke has served as a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals since 2011, and authored more than 1,200 decisions. Burke, who received undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama, previously served as a judge in Marshall County. Burke was among 15 judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate in a deal brokered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Under terms of the deal, the Senate stands in adjournment until after the Nov. 6 election.
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