Senate panel advances judicial nominee on party-line vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee has endorsed a top aide to President Donald Trump for a federal appeals court post despite complaints from lawmakers about his refusal to answer questions about his record at the Education Department and the White House.

Steven Menashi, an associate White House counsel, was recommended, 12-10, Thursday for a seat on the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. All 12 votes in favor of Menashi were by Republicans, while all 10 Democrats voted no.

Senators from both parties complained that Menashi failed to answer questions at his nomination hearing, and Democrats said he has a troubling record on immigration, race, women's equality and LGBTQ rights.

The panel's vote sends Menashi's nomination to the Senate floor.