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Senate GOP blocks Obama pick for key federal court

Senate Republicans have blocked confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominee to one of the most influential federal courts.

Obama had nominated Patricia Millett to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Millett has worked as a lawyer for both Democratic and Republican administrations.

The court rules on federal agency actions and is considered second in power only to the Supreme Court.

The Senate voted 55-38 Thursday to halt GOP delaying tactics against her nomination. But that was 5 votes short of the 60 needed to end the Republican blockade.

Republicans said they oppose Millett because they want to prevent Democratic-appointed judges on the D.C. Circuit Court from having a 5-4 majority.