[JURIST] The US Senate on Friday confirmed the nomination of White House staffer Brett Kavanaugh [White House backgrounder] to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by a margin of 57-36 [roll call] after a test vote Thursday cleared the way for his approval [AP report]. Kavanaugh faced probing questions [JURIST report] from the Senate Judiciary Committee during confirmation hearings, but received the go ahead along party lines [JURIST report] for a full floor vote. Democrats had voiced strong opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination, calling it narrowly partisan [Reid speech] and expressing dismay over the 41-year-old nominee's inexperience and recent downgrade [JURIST report] from "well qualified" to "qualified" [ratings, PDF; White House response] by the American Bar Association [profession website].
Democrats had threatened a filibuster [JURIST report] to stop the nomination, but retreated in their efforts after Kavanaugh testified [JURIST report] in committee that he had no role in the Bush administration's policy towards detainees or warrantless surveillance [JURIST news archives], and had no relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Kavanaugh, initially nominated for the bench three years ago, formerly worked as an assistant to independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the impeachment investigation of President Bill Clinton and also campaigned for President Bush during the 2000 election. AP has more.