It was a typical Monday night in the U.S. Senate: Returning to Washington from a weekend at home, senators would quickly enter the Senate Chamber to confirm judicial nominees and depart just as quickly into the cold night.

The vote was scheduled for 5 p.m., but several senators were seen milling about as a delay stretched to more than 40 minutes. By 5:44 p.m., Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) walked out of the Senate Cloak Room and approached Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

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