Federal Courts and Nominations

Why Courts Matter: The D.C. Circuit


Monday, March 25, 2013
1:30 pm
Center for American Progress, American Constitution Society, and Constitutional Accountability Center

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is often considered the second most important court in the land, after the Supreme Court.  The D.C. Circuit has sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers of the branches of government and decisions made by government agencies affecting issues like health care, national security, environmental rules, and consumer protections and workplace safety.  More U.S. Supreme Court justices have come from the D.C. Circuit than any other circuit court, including four current Justices.

Today, four of the court’s eleven seats remain vacant, including one seat that has been unfilled since 2005. These vacancies have a crippling effect on the court’s ability to decide on critically key cases that impact the lives of Americans across the country, regardless of where you live or the issues you care about.

Please join the Center for American Progress, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, and the Constitutional Accountability Center for a special presentation on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • Andrew Blotky, Director, Legal Progress, Center for American Progress

Introductory Remarks:

  • Hon. Patricia M. Wald, former Chief Judge, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Distinguished Panelists:

  • David Baron, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice
  • Leslie Proll, Director, Washington, DC Office, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Judy Scott, General Counsel, Service Employees International Union
  • Steve Vladeck, Professor of Law, American University and expert in national security law


  • Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society

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