Updated 2:53 p.m.
The Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously approved Todd Hughes as a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as four other district court judge nominees.
Hughes, a career staff attorney at the U.S. Justice Department who could become the first openly gay federal appellate court judge, now joins a list of judicial nominees awaiting a confirmation vote by the full Senate.
Hughes, who had also sailed through his confirmation hearing in June, has 19 years of experience at the Justice Department—including the last six as deputy director of the commercial litigation branch of the civil division.
Other judicial nominees approved by voice vote Thursday: Colin Bruce, Sara Ellis and Andrea Wood to be U.S. district judges for the Central District of Illinois; and Madeline Haikala, to be federal district judge in the Northern District of Alabama.
In other action, the committee voted 18-0 to approve James Comey, the former No. 2 lawyer at Main Justice, to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This story updated to correct vote total on James Comey nomination.