Almost two weeks after the Senate confirmed Sri Srinivasan as the newest judge to the D.C. Circuit, President Obama has put forth three more nominations to fill the remaining vacancies on the 11-member court.
The nominees, whom the president named Tuesday, include Patricia Millett, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Nina Pillard, a law professor at Georgetown University; and Robert Wilkins, a U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C.
Obama is calling for Senate Republicans to swiftly confirm the nominees rather than delay their votes on nominees as they have in the past.
“This is not about principled opposition; this is about political obstruction,” Obama said in a formal ceremony on Tuesday. “I recognize that neither party has a perfect track record here. Democrats weren’t completely blameless when I was in the Senate. But what’s happening now is unprecedented. For the good of the American people, it has to stop.”
Up until Srinivasan’s confirmation, the Senate hadn’t confirmed a judge to the D.C. Circuit in seven years. With Srinivasan onboard, the D.C. Circuit now has eight judges—four Republican and four Democratic.
If the statement that Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, released in response to the nominees is any indication, Obama will likely face opposition. “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,” Grassley said.
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