The Senate voted Tuesday to advance Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for U.S. Attorney General.
The 52-47-1 vote was mostly along party lines. Sessions was the one member who abstained from voting.
Tuesday’s vote marked the end of a Democratic filibuster against Sessions. Some critics have expressed deep concerns over Sessions’ civil rights record.
Others have said the Alabama Republican won’t be able to stand up to President Donald Trump, having been an early and fierce supporter of Trump during the campaign.
Senate Democrats became especially wary of Sessions’ independence after Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Jan. 31 for “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”
On Tuesday night, Senate Democrats began another 30-hour floor debate to protest Sessions’ confirmation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the press that Democrats have planned additional 30-hour debates to precede the confirmation votes of the rest of Trump’s cabinet nominees.
A final vote to confirm Session is expected Wednesday night, Feb. 8. All Republicans are expected to vote in favor of the Alabama Republican senator, which would be enough to confirm Sessions.
If confirmed, Sessions will become the 8th confirmed member of Trump’s cabinet.