WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are already enjoying the first fruits of the milestone Senate vote making it harder for the Republican minority to block President Barack Obama's nominations.

They swiftly ended a GOP filibuster against one of his top judicial choices and prepared to do the same for two others.

But Republicans and others are warning that over the longer term, they might regret what they did.

Democrats overcame unanimous GOP opposition Thursday and won Senate approval for halting filibusters, or delays, of most nominations with a simple majority vote. A 60-vote threshold has been required since 1975.

Thursday's vote helped heighten Congress' already high level of partisan animosity, making progress on many issues even tougher. And it raises questions about whether a future Senate might expand the relaxed rule to include legislation.