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Judicial Vacancies and the D.C. Circuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is generally considered to be the Nation’s second most important court, after the Supreme Court. This is because the D.C. Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes involving numerous federal laws and regulations, and is responsible for resolving critically important cases involving national security, environmental protection, employment discrimination, food and drug safety, separation of powers, and the decisions of a wide array of administrative agencies. Congress has authorized 11 judgeships for this court. 

On June 4, 2013, in an historic Rose Garden ceremony, President Obama nominated attorney Patricia Millett, Georgetown Law Professor Nina Pillard, and United States District Court Judge Robert Wilkins to fill the three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit. Even before those nominations had been announced, however, Senator Charles Grassley, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, signaled an intent to block the President’s nominees to these three seats by introducing a bill to eliminate all three of the seats from the court. This proposal was a mass filibuster by another name, obstruction of the President’s judicial nominees taken to a new level.

  

News

President Obama announces the nomination of Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Judge Robert Wilkins to the D.C. Circuit. [Video]

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Patricia Millett’s nomination on July 10, 2013.  A webcast of the hearing is available on the Committee’s website.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Nina Pillard's nomination on July 24, 2013. A webcast of the hearing is available on the Comittee's website

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by a strict party-line vote of 10-8 on August 1, 2013, sending her nomination to the full Senate. [Video]

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Judge Robert Wilkins' nomination on September 11, 2013. A webcast of the hearing is available on the Comittee's website.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Nina Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by a strict party-line vote of 10-8 on September 19, 2013, sending her nomination to the full Senate. [Video]

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Judge Robert Wilkins to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by a strict party-line vote of 10-8 on October 31, 2013, sending his nomination to the full Senate. [Video]

Senate Republicans filibustered the nomination of Patricia Millett, preventing Millett from receiving a yes-or-no vote on the Senate floor. The Senate failed to pass a cloture motion on October 31, 2013. [Senate Roll Call]  

Senate Republicans filibustered the nomination of Judge Robert Wilkins, preventing Wilkins from receiving a yes-or-no vote on the Senate floor. The Senate failed to pass a cloture motion on November 18, 2013. [Senate Roll Call]  

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a change to Senate rules to prohibit filibusters of executive nominations and judicial nominations, except for nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court, on November 21, 2013. 

The Senate confirmed Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit on December 10, 2013. [Senate Roll Call]

The Senate confirmed Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit on December 12, 2013. [Senate Roll Call]

The Senate confirmed Judge Robert Wilkins to the D.C. Circuit on January 13, 2013. [Senate Roll Call]

 

Statements

December 10, 2013
 
November 21, 2013
 
October 31, 2013
 
September 19, 2013
 
August 1, 2013
 
July 10, 2013
 
June 4, 2013
 
May 23, 2013
 
May 16, 2013
 
 
 
CAC Letters in Support of Nominees
 
November 14, 2013
 
November 8, 2013
 
October 29, 2013
 
September 27, 2013
 
September 9, 2013
 
July 17, 2013
 
May 17, 2013
 
April 11, 2013
 
February 21, 2013
 
March 17, 2011
 
 

Articles, Commentary and Resources

More infographics available at PFAW.org.

 
Text & History
Doug Kendall and Tom Donnelly
November 21, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
November 18, 2013
 
Huffington Post
Doug Kendall
October 31, 2013
 
October 31, 2013
 
October 28, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
September 25, 2013
 
National Law Journal
Todd Ruger
September 19, 2013
 
Politico
Josiah Bunting III
September 17, 2013
 
September 9, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
August 1, 2013
 
Talking Points Memo
Sahil Kapur
July 31, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
July 26, 2013
 
Huffington Post
Doug Kendall
July 25, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
July 8, 2013
 
Text & History 
Judith E. Schaeffer
June 21, 2013
 
Huffington Post
Doug Kendall
June 7, 2013
 
Portland Press-Herald
May 29, 2013
 
Wall Street Journal
Judith E. Schaeffer
May 23, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
May 14, 2013
 
Reuters
Doug Kendall
May 10, 2013
 
Constitutional Accountability Center
May 7, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
May 6, 2013
 
The Environmental Forum
Doug Kendall and Simon Lazarus
May/June, 2013
 
Text & History
Judith E. Schaeffer
April 17, 2013