POTUS Nominating Judicial Appointees

DC Circuit Court

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The courts’ decisions “impact our lives,” said President Obama during his announcement today, but it’s no secret that this president has had a more challenging time of getting his nominees through the confirmation process than prior presidents. On average, President Obama’s nominees take three times longer than other presidents. Every president since Woodrow Wilson has nominated judges to the DC Circuit court bench, but partisan politics have stymied the process. Delays are all about politics. Currently, there are four vacancies on the DC Circuit Court, two of which happened during President Obama’s term in office. The president said, “the courts cannot be short-staffed,” and that the nation’s legal framework depends on timely confirmations.

Of the four vacancies, Sri Srinivasan, who has argued appeals for both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations – won confirmation May 23rd, so three seats remain vacant, one of which was made vacant in 2005, around the same time that Supreme Court Justice Roberts was elevated to chief justice. The POTUS has now nominated Robert Leon Wilkins, Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard. Robert Wilkins is a federal district judge; Patricia Millett is an appellate lawyer; and Ms. Pillard is a law professor at Georgetown University.

Mr. Obama said “I’m hoping that we can build on this progress (referring to the confirmation of Srinivasan)” but he should expect a battle. GOP Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee said in a statement last night that, “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.”

Um, yes…imagine him trying to advance his policy agenda or something presidential like that…

{End of Quick News Bite!}


  1. […] for the District of Columbia circuit. The WSJ (Fox News?) ignored the fact that GOP obstructionism has caused judicial emergencies. The WSJ also claims that Obama is trying to “pack” the court. Ah, where has the WSJ […]

  2. […] to make the official nomination announcement today at 3pm ET and is expected to move through the confirmation process in a relatively smooth manner to become sworn in on February 15, 2014, replacing outgoing Fed […]