The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee says he intends to filibuster one of President Obama's nominees to the federal appellate bench, saying that he is going to play by what he calls the changed rules governing the nomination process of federal judges .
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., decried the current "sad state of affairs" involving the nomination process when he told reporters Monday afternoon that he intends to filibuster Judge David Hamilton's selection to the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of U.S. Appeals.
But Sessions conceded that he probably lacks the votes necessary to ultimately prevent a final vote on Hamilton's confirmation.
Sessions said the "extraordinary circumstances" test of filibustering nominees that was the byproduct of tense Senate negotiations in the final years of the Bush administration is still in effect and that Hamilton, who is currently a federal trial court judge in Indiana, fails that test.
Decrying Hamilton's "steadfast resistance" to informed consent abortion laws and other positions that the Obama nominee has taken on the bench goes beyond the norm, Sessions argues.
"His record and statements go further than Judge (Sonia) Sotomayor's," Sessions said while noting that even though he ultimately voted against the now Supreme Court justice, he didn't try and stop her from having a vote either in committee or on the Senate floor.
Senate Democrats could put Hamilton's nomination on a key test vote as early as Tuesday.
Sessions acknowledged that it's unlikely the Democrats would schedule the vote if they didn't think they had the 60 votes to move forward and conceded that with at least one Republican, Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., supporting Hamilton's nomination, blocking it will be very difficult.
Fox News' Lee Ross and Trish Turner contributed to this report.