Federal Courts and Nominations

Judiciary GOP Members Ignore Qualifications Of Another D.C. Circuit Nominee, Pillard Reported Out of Committee On Party-Line Vote

Washington, DC – On news this morning that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Cornelia “Nina” Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on a party-line vote of 10-8, Constitutional Accountability Center Vice President Judith E. Schaeffer released the following reaction:


“We congratulate Professor Pillard on being voted favorably out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. Her qualifications, experience, intellect, and temperament clearly convinced a majority of the Committee’s Senators – as they have all fair-minded observers – that she would serve with distinction on the D.C. Circuit and deserves to be confirmed.


“Sadly, however, Committee Republicans chose to ignore Pillard’s sterling qualifications – just as they ignored those of her fellow nominee Patricia Millett last month – and instead chose to maintain the discredited pretense that the D.C. Circuit is ‘underworked’ and that President Obama is somehow trying to ‘stack’ the court by nominating outstanding nominees to three vacant and authorized seats.  And, expressing alleged concerns about Professor Pillard’s record,  they ignored important conservative voices supporting Pillard’s confirmation, including that of Josiah Bunting III, the former superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, who had staunchly opposed legal efforts on which Pillard worked to end gender discrimination at that public university. This week Bunting praised Pillard’s “judgment and dedication to upholding the Constitution” and said “She deserves to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”


“The question is: what will moderate Republican Senators do next? If they truly have the interest of the American people at heart, they will follow the lead of Senator John McCain, who has said each of the three pending nominees to the D.C. Circuit should get a yes-or-no vote on the Senate floor.  Each of these nominees deserves no less.”






CAC letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Cornelia “Nina” Pillard’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/CAC_Letter_to_SJC_in_Support_of_Pillard_Confirmation.pdf 


“Pillard well-qualified for seat on Appeals Court,” September 17, 2013: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/pillard-well-qualified-for-seat-on-appeals-court-96936.html 


“Why is Senator Grassley Playing Hide-the-Ball Over the D.C. Circuit?” CAC Vice President Judith E. Schaeffer, July 26, 2013: http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/2164/why-senator-grassley-playing-hide-ball-over-dc-circuit 


 “The Next Nuclear Test,” CAC President Doug Kendall, July 25, 2013: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-kendall/the-next-nuclear-test_b_3652286.html 


 “Will other Republican Senators Join McCain and Collins in Rebuffing Grassley’s Partisan Effort to Prevent D.C. Circuit Nominees From Getting a Vote?,” Judith E. Schaeffer, July 8, 2013: http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/2142/will-other-republican-senators-join-john-mccain-and-susan-collins-rebuffing 


“It’s Not Packing, Just Filling the D.C. Bench,” Judith E. Schaeffer, May 24, 2013: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324787004578497511399066342.html   


“Grassley aims for GOP political spin on federal judiciary,” Doug Kendall, May 10, 2013: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/05/10/grassley-aims-for-gop-political-spin-on-federal-judiciary/  




Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.



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