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Photo by: J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., seated at center right, expresses frustration as the seats on the Republican side of the panel remain empty, causing the cancellation of an executive meeting to consider a dozen of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate is nearing a potential showdown on curbing the power that the Republican minority has to block President Barack Obama's nominations, as majority Democrats edge toward forcing a rewrite of filibuster rules through the chamber require only 51 votes to end filibusters and other delaying tactics. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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