Civil and Human Rights Coalition Welcomes President Obama’s Judicial Nominations to D.C. Circuit Court

Categories: Judiciary, News

Civil and human rights advocates applauded President Obama’s announcement from the Rose Garden this morning that he has nominated Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, Patricia Millett, and Robert Wilkins to fill longstanding vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Civil and human rights advocates applauded President Obama’s announcement from the Rose Garden this morning that he has nominated Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, Patricia Millett, and Robert Wilkins to fill longstanding vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Advocates concerned about the high number judicial vacancies in the federal court system welcomed the president’s focus on the obstructionist tactics used against judicial nominees.

“My nominees have taken three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my Republican predecessor,” said Obama. “These individuals that I nominate are qualified.  When they were given an up or down vote in the Senate — when they were finally given an up or down vote in the Senate, every one of them was confirmed.  So this is not about principled opposition.  This is about political obstruction.”

The D.C. Circuit is considered the second-most significant court in the country, but four out of 11 judicial seats have been left empty until a few weeks ago when Sri Srinivasan was unanimously confirmed. One of the three seats still open has been vacant since Chief Justice Roberts was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005.

“This court, in particular, needs thoughtful legal minds because it hears some of nation’s most complex and consequential cases, including cases that involve complicated federal regulations and significant national civil rights, civil liberties, and security issues,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Learn more about the importance of the federal courts and the obstruction holding up the confirmation of well-qualified nominees by visiting:

Alliance for Justice’s Judicial Section Project

Center for American Progress’ Legal Progress

National Council of Jewish Women’s Judicial Nominations Campaign

People for the American Way’s Fair and Just Courts campaign