White House Names Three Nominees To D.C. Circuit Court


President Obama will announce three nominees to fill vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday morning, a White House official confirmed to TPM.

The nominees will be attorney Patricia Ann Millett, Georgetown law professor Cornelia Pillard and U.S. District Court Judge Robert Leon Wilkins.“Tomorrow, at 10:15 AM in the Rose Garden, the President will announce his intent to nominate three candidates for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,” the White House official said. “Patricia Ann Millet, who has served in Administrations of both parties; Cornelia Pillard who served as former Deputy Assistant Attorney General and former Assistant to the Solicitor General; and Judge Robert Wilkins, who was confirmed unanimously for the D.C. District Court in 2010.”

Millett is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and has litigated numerous cases before the Supreme Court and appellate courts.

Pillard is a law professor at the Georgetown University law center and has litigated Supreme Court cases, including on behalf of the ACLU and NAACP.

Wilkins is a district judge in D.C. and was confirmed without any opposition in 2010.

There are currently three vacancies on the court, which leans conservative and is often considered the second most powerful federal court. It hears cases about the limits of executive power and has limited the Obama administration’s regulatory authority on issues ranging from cigarette warning labels to consumer and environmental protections.

The Senate voted 97-0 last month to confirm President Obama’s nominee Sri Srinivasan. Republicans have suggested that they don’t want to confirm any new judges to the remaining vacancies on the D.C. Circuit court, introducing legislation to shrink its size from 11 to 8 active judges. Democrats have rejected that legislation.

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