WASHINGTON – A dozen Democratic and Republican senators negotiated for hours behind closed doors for a second day Thursday, trying to engineer a compromise that would end an intensely partisan battle over President Bush’s nominees for federal judgeships.
While the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is the immediate subject of debate, the negotiators are concerned with a broader, procedural issue: trying to head off a showdown vote next week on changing the Senate’s filibuster rule.
After two meetings in Arizona Sen. John McCain’s office Thursday, the bipartisan group was set for yet another round Thursday evening. Some of the negotiators were sounding weary.
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