Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who tracks judicial nominations, tells me that the U.S. Senate voted 51-41 today, the bare minimum required, to end debate on Donald Trump’s nomination of Lee Rudofsky, a Walmart lawyer. to a federal judgeship in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Rudofsky is relatively new to the state, unusual for judicial appointees who frequently have longstanding political connections to the U.S. senators who generally control nominations.  Some other candidates fell by the wayside, clearing a path for Rudofsky, who worked for a time as Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s solicitor general. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee objected to Rudofsky because of his anti-abortion legal work and participation in a brief opposing same-sex marriage. He said he’d changed his mind on the latter.

Tobias says the confirmation vote will likely come Thursday and be similar to today’s cloture vote.