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John Cornyn and Ted Cruz Should Allow a Vote on D.C. Circuit Nominees

ACTION: Tell Senators Cornyn and Cruz to make filling the D.C. Circuit a priority and that qualified nominees deserve simple yes or no votes.

The D.C. Circuit Court - the 2nd highest court in the United States - has 11 seats, but 3 are currently vacant. One of the vacancies has existed since 2005 - when John Roberts was elevated to the Supreme Court. Another seat has been vacant for over two years. The D.C. Circuit Court impacts all Americans because it rules on cases that define the government's ability to protect our health, safety, environment, and rights as workers and consumers. Primarily involved with complex regulatory cases involving government agencies, the D.C. Circuit is also a stepping stone for judges to the Supreme Court: 4 of the current 9 justices on the U.S. Supreme Court sat on the D.C. Circuit Court.

The importance of the D.C. Circuit Court cannot be understated. From the Huffington Post (emphasis added):

Patricia M. Wald, a retired judge who served on the court for 20 years, highlighted the court's particularly complex and time-consuming caseload in a Washington Post op-ed. Sid Shapiro, an administrative law expert and Center for Progressive Reform member scholar, said the average number of cases before the court is actually up, from 1,152 cases during the Bush administration to 1,362 under Obama.

In the coming weeks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will schedule a series of votes intended to confirm three nominees to the court, including Patricia Millett and Nina Pillard. Millett has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court 32 times. Pillard has argued 9 times and briefed at least another 25 times. Their expertise on the courts is widely acknowledged by Republicans in Congress - even by those Senators who voted against their placement on the court in committee.

Both Senators Cornyn and Cruz sit on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and voted against Millett and Pillard in committee. Now they are working to block a simple up-or-down vote for the two nominees on the Senate floor. Unfortunately, Cornyn and Cruz remain locked into partisan warfare that defies reason on this issue. It is simply another example of their political playbook of obstruction at the expense of the American people who are directly impacted by the rulings of the D.C. Circuit.

Contact Senators Cornyn and Cruz today and tell them all three D.C. Circuit nominees deserve a speedy confirmation vote, not delay and unwarranted filibuster.

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