President Obama directly confronted Republican obstruction this morning, nominating three people to fill vacancies at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and challenging Republicans to allow the Senate to vote on their confirmation. This is in response to continuing Republican obstruction of most nominees and bills.
President Obama nominated Robert Wilkins, a federal trial court judge, Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, a former Clinton Justice Department official now at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington and Patricia Ann Millett, who served in the Justice Department and is now with a law firm in Washington.
The President nominated all three judges at the same time as a challenge to Repubicans. If they block all three, they can’t claim they are doing so for any reason except to obstruct. And if they obstruct it builds support for and pressure on Senate Democrats to change current rules that enable the obstruction.
According to the NY Times, President Obama said,
“This is not about principled opposition. It’s about partisan obstruction,” Mr. Obama said. “What’s happening now is unprecedented. For the good of the American people it has to stop.”
“What I’m doing today is my job,” Mr. Obama said as he announced the nominations. “What I need is the Senate to do its job.”
A coalition of progressive organizations is working to get Senate Democrats to change the rules that currently allow the ongoing obstruction. For more information visit Fix The Senate Now.
There is an upcoming nomination battle over confirmation of appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Republicans have obstructed confirmations to this board to keep it from operating, allowing corporations to harass and fire unoin organizers and take other illegal measures to keep working people from securing better wages, benefits and rights. Please visit the Give Us 5 campaign (confirm all 5 nominees to the NLRB) for more information.
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