Senate Confirms Wilkins to Fill Final D.C. Circuit Vacancy

Courts News 01.14,14

The Senate voted 55-43 on Monday to confirm Robert Wilkins to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Wilkins is the third of President Obama’s nominees to be confirmed to the nation’s second most important court since the Senate changed its filibuster rules in November.

“The Leadership Conference believes Judge Wilkins’ record makes him an enormously qualified nominee with the ability to make objective decisions on the multifaceted and prominent cases that will surely come before the court,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference and Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference, in a letter urging his confirmation. “His nomination to the D.C. Circuit is not only important because of his impeccable credentials, but equally critical because of the role this court plays in the administration of justice in our country.”

Obama nominated Wilkins, who was a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia prior to his nomination, in June alongside Patricia Millett and Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, who were both confirmed last month. All three were filibustered before the Senate changed its rules.

Recognized in 2007 by Washingtonian Magazine as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” and in 2008 by the Legal Times as one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years,” Wilkins becomes the first judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to be elevated to the D.C. Circuit in nearly 50 years.