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Remember How Obama Stacked The DC Circuit Court?

From the August 2013 archives of Fox News:

Conservatives accuse Obama of packing key court to ‘rubber stamp’ agenda

By Barnini Chakraborty | August 24, 2013

Forget the debt drama. The real showdown in Washington is over President Obama’s alleged push to stack the bench on a key D.C. court — which Republicans say could be used to "rubber stamp" his agenda long after he leaves office.

At issue is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, just down the street from its better-known Supreme Court cousin. The court is considered the second-most powerful in the land — right behind the Supreme Court — because it has final say on most federal regulations. Since regulations are drafted and issued in D.C., they end up before the court once they’re challenged…

Lest we forget, at that time the DC Circuit was becoming famous for striking down many of Obama’s regulations. So it was seen as directly frustrating Obama’s agenda. Which infuriated Obama and the rest of the Democrats.

Of the 11 seats on the D.C. Court of Appeals, three are now open. In June, Obama set the stage for a fierce partisan fight when he announced the nominations of attorney Patricia Ann Millett, law professor Cornelia “Nina” Pillard and D.C. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins to the bench.

Two-thirds of the current sitting judges were appointed by Republican presidents. The actual political makeup, though, is split — four Democrats and four Republicans.

Some say that in order to make sure his regulatory legacy lives on, Obama must get the full Senate to green light all three of his judicial picks… But as Obama pushes to install his nominees in the D.C. court, he and his supporters say Republicans are putting up roadblocks.

The exact same ‘roadblocks’ that every other President has faced for the previous 224 years.

“Time and again, congressional Republicans cynically used Senate rules and procedures to delay and even block qualified nominees from coming to a full vote,” Obama said during a ceremony and press conference in the White House Rose Garden…

Republicans say the court doesn’t need that many new faces, and claim the White House is trying to pack the bench with judges who will view Obama’s regulatory agenda more favorably.

Democrats and the White House argue that the judges who currently make up the court are ideologically stuck in the past and that the bench needs to be re-balanced to more accurately reflect the nation…

And this is exactly why Harry Reid eventually triggered the so-called ‘nuclear option’ and summarily did away with the filibuster for nominees in November 2013. So the Republicans wouldn’t be able to stop Obama from changing the DC Circuit.

And now we know why.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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