SAN FRANCISCO — Ninth Circuit nominees John Owens and Michelle Friedland were voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with minimal Republican opposition Thursday, though questions remain as to how hard the GOP might fight on the Senate floor.

Three Northern District hopefuls also were among the 29 judicial nominees approved Thursday—James Donato and Beth Labson Freeman unanimously, and Vince Chhabria by a 13-5 vote. All three had been approved by the same vote last year, but President Barack Obama was forced to renominate them after the full Senate allowed their nominations to expire in December.

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