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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2013

Statement by the President

I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have once again refused to do their job and give well-qualified nominees to the federal bench the yes-or-no votes they deserve.  The D.C. Circuit, considered the Nation’s second-highest court, has three vacancies. These are judgeships created by Congress.  Chief Justice John Roberts and the Judicial Conference of the United States believe that these vacancies should be filled, not removed.  And my constitutional duty as President is to nominate highly qualified individuals to fill these vacancies.

Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Judge Robert Wilkins have all received the highest possible rating from the non-partisan American Bar Association.  They have broad bipartisan support, and no one has questioned their merit.  Yet Senate Republicans have blocked all three from receiving a yes-or-no vote.  This obstruction is completely unprecedented.  Four of my predecessor’s six nominees to the D.C. Circuit were confirmed.  Four of my five nominees to this court have been obstructed.  When it comes to judicial nominations, I am fulfilling my constitutional responsibility, but Congress is not.  Instead, Senate Republicans are standing in the way of a fully-functioning judiciary that serves the American people.

The American people and our judicial system deserve better.  A majority of the United States Senate supports these three extraordinary nominees, and it is time for simple yes-or-no votes without further obstruction or delay.

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