Your editorial "Packing the D.C. Circuit" (May 20) accuses President Obama of preparing to "pack" the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit with three judges it "doesn't need." "Packing" is an odd description of the president's constitutional duty to nominate people to fill vacant seats on the federal bench. Congress has authorized this important federal appellate court to have a total of 11 judges, and it currently has only seven.
CAC In the News
While the Roberts vs. Scalia face-off is mainly about style and tactics, not ideology—they both agree on the goal of reducing the size of the federal government—it’s real and likely to last. For sure they will put aside their differences in many cases, starting in all likelihood with the upcoming ruling in an Alabama county’s challenge to a key part of the Voting Rights Act. Still, the court’s right flank is divided, and that is producing some surprising and important legal victories for the Obama Administration.
The good news about increased turnout among African-Americans is worthy of celebration, but it is no reason to scrap the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act, which for the last 48 years has played a critical role in realizing the Constitution’s command of voting equality and preventing state-sponsored voting discrimination.
Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, applauded the news of Srinivasan's unanimous confirmation but said that despite the recent break in partisan bickering, she did not expect it to last. "Given a proposal by Senator Grassley to eliminate three seats on the D.C. Circuit – effectively a mass filibuster of President Obama’s future nominees – the comity exhibited by Senate Republicans this morning is not likely to last very long."
On March 2, 2009, all 41 Senate Republicans, including Cornyn, sent a letter to the newly elected President Obama, basically threatening to block judicial nominees from their own states unless they were consulted about and approved those nominees. In his blame-shifting remarks last week and his defense of those remarks since then, Cornyn ignored this letter.