Today, President Obama announced three nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The President nominated law professor Cornelia T.L. Pillard, appellate lawyer Patricia Ann Millett and federal district judge Robert L. Wilkins to the Court. The Court has had many longstanding vacancies, including one slot that was filled when the Senate confirmed Sri Srinivasan for the post in late May. If confirmed, the President’s new nominations would fill all remaining vacancies. Below is Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Sidney Shapiro’s response to the nominations:
The President’s nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals are long overdue. The D.C. Circuit’s unique jurisdiction over environmental, health, safety and other regulations gives it a particularly important role in the federal judiciary. But over the past several years, the Circuit Court’s tilt to the right has made it the court where needed regulatory safeguards go to die. The President’s nominations would likely restore some balance to the court, and that is precisely why Senate Republicans appear poised to launch an all-out effort to delay and obstruct these nominations. The American people deserve better. The argument that we should move seats from this circuit to other circuits because the Court is “not busy enough” is laughable at best and deeply cynical at worst. The Court plays a crucially important role in ensuring that regulations that protect our air and water, and keep our food supply safe are based in sound science, free of political interference, and consistent with statute. President Obama’s nominations bring us one step closer to that realization.