Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 29, 2013, 4:45pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture Monday on the nomination of Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Millett, who heads Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP's Supreme Court practice and co-heads the firm's national appellate practice, made it out of a Senate committee on a 10-8 vote in August.

Cloture is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter -- in this case, a judicial nomination -- and thereby overcome a filibuster.

Under the cloture rule, the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by a vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.

Reid, D-Nev., is trying to force a vote sometime this week.

Next in line is Cornelia "Nina" Pillard, who currently serves as a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and who last month also made it out of a Senate committee on a 10-8 vote.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Robert Leon Wilkins' nomination to the D.C. Circuit Thursday, according to The Blog of Legal Times.

Wilkins, who has served as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2010, reportedly sailed through his committee hearing last month.

Like Millett and Pillard, he is expected to be approved by the Senate panel along party lines before heading to the full Senate for a vote.

All three were nominated by President Barack Obama in June.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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