Obama to name three to influential court
June 3rd, 2013
11:19 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama to name three to influential court

(CNN) - President Barack Obama is set to put forward three nominations for the influential United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, officials told CNN.

The officials, speaking anonymously since the announcement has not yet happened, said the president will nominate attorney Patricia Millett, law professor Cornelia "Nina" Pillard, and U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins to the court, which is often regarded as the second most important judicial panel in the country after the United States Supreme Court.

The court hears a significant number of key appeals over civil matters involving congressional laws and executive actions, and four of the current Supreme Court members came from there - Chief Justice John Roberts, and associate justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But some Republicans argue the three vacancies currently on the bench should remain unfilled, citing what they see as a relatively light caseload. They argue Obama's choice to nominate three appeals judges at once amounts to "packing" the court with ideological allies.

‪"It’s hard to imagine the rationale for nominating three judges at once for this court given the many vacant emergency seats across the country, unless your goal is to pack the court to advance a certain policy agenda,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote in a statement Monday.

One prior nominee to the court - Caitlin Halligan– was filibustered successfully earlier this year by Republican senators. Another nominee– Sri Srinivasan– received Senate approval earlier this year and now sits on the 8-member full-time bench. It was the president's first successful appointment to that court.

Republicans were criticized for delaying floor votes on many nominees in the president's first term in office. But the White House, too, has come under fire for not moving quickly to fill growing bench vacancies.

Some moderates from both parties have long lamented threats of delays and filibuster attempts of most presidential appointments. They say ongoing unfilled vacancies have created a crisis in many federal courts, with bulging dockets being handled by too few judges.

–CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Shock, Horror, disbelief. and AWE Republicans opposing Obama this blog could be an autowrite the prospect is such a fore gone conlusion, it now toatlly
    Hodgson. ridiculous.
    Regards,

    June 4, 2013 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  2. S.B. Stein

    If there are people that the GOP/Republicans/teapublicans/conservatives don't like, let us here your suggestions and why these people are the people they'd confirm in the Senate. What are the criteria that they would want so that there can be some plan to meet in the middle.

    June 4, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  3. Tony in Maine

    This should be interesting. I wonder if Mitch will run out 3 different sycophants to point out all the flaws of the nominees or if he'll save time and just use one.

    June 4, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA aka Take Back the House aka No Redemption Votes

    But some Republicans argue the three vacancies currently on the bench should remain unfilled, citing what they see as a relatively light caseload. They argue Obama's choice to nominate three appeals judges at once amounts to "packing" the court with ideological allies.
    ----------------------------------------–
    Oh puhleez!!! if a republican was President and had this opportunity, he'd nominate 3 judges as well. But you know the mantra: IOKIYAR

    June 4, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  5. Guess

    I just happened to have done the research on this, everything he just said was a lie, pure BS. bush appointed twice as many judges in his admin. do homework, in two minutes you can have the real truth, and its not hard. pick any topic, do your research and it wont be long and you will never vote republican again, easily the most dangerous threat to your standard of living.evil intentions, llike starting wars or money. watch gasland, and food inc. this is their ideaology at work, laxed regulations, and utter and total disregard for the public

    June 4, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  6. Marty, FL

    Good for Pres. Obama for maintaining the longstanding integrity of the court.

    While shame on GOP politicians for desperately trying to change the rules (again).

    June 4, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. Stuffit

    Hoping to continue his corru[pt legacy after his impeachment.

    June 4, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. basedonfact

    The lowest level of politics has reared it's ugly head as Republicans are already saying they will block the nominees BEFORE THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE. There is no actual reason to block any of the nominees other than pure politics

    June 4, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |