WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- A confirmation vote is expected next week on U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit nominee Cornelia "Nina" Pillard.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday filed a motion that sets up a vote on Pillard, who currently serves as a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, by the Senate Tuesday.

Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's other D.C. Circuit nominee, Patricia Millett. Millett currently heads Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP's Supreme Court practice and co-heads the firm's national appellate practice.

Last week, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on her nomination.

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.

According to the roll call, federal lawmakers voted 55-38 to proceed with a vote on her nomination, shy of the necessary 60 votes.

Republicans are expected to block all three of Obama's D.C. Circuit nominees, including Robert Leon Wilkins, who made it out of a Senate committee last week. Wilkins has served as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2010.

In July, GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Pillard, taking aim at her academic writings because of her lack of judicial experience.

"I have concerns about your nomination," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said at the time. "The primary source we have are your academic writings, and those writings to me suggest that your views may well be considerably out of the mainstream."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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