The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Richard Griffin as counsel to the National Labor Relations Board.
Republicans had been delaying Griffin’s nomination, and his confirmation ends the first of what are expected to be several contentious nomination battles in the days ahead.
The final vote was ordered after Democrats got enough Republicans to cross over and allow the nomination to come to a vote. Sixty-two senators voted to bring Griffin’s nomination to a vote -- just more than the 60 required to do so. The final vote was 55-44.
Republicans objected to Griffin's nomination on the grounds that the NLRB has become too pro-union.
In the days ahead, the Senate will take up two particularly contentious nominations: Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Millett is a particularly interesting battle. The GOP is concerned that her appointment will tip the balance of power in the D.C. Circuit -- generally seen as the second most powerful court in the country, behind the Supreme Court -- in favor of Democrats. Millett is a former solicitor general under President Bill Clinton.