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Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine introduced Virginian Patricia Millett at her Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing for the DC Circuit Court.
Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine meet with Virginian Patricia Millett before her nomination
hearing for the D.C. Circuit Court.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-8, along party lines, Thursday to send the nomination of Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to the floor. Where this remarkable woman, who has argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court will almost assuredly be filibustered.

The purported reason for that Republican filibuster is pure bullshit.

Republicans said they didn't have anything against Millett—Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said she was probably well-qualified—but that the court's workload wasn't large enough to justify filling its vacancies. Many Republicans have used that argument for weeks, along with the charge that Obama is court-packing, to justify not filling the court. Eight of 11 seats on the D.C. Circuit are currently filled, four of which are Republican-appointed and four of which are Democrat-appointed.

"The last thing we need to do is spend $3 million a year for three judges that are not needed," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). "We can't just move these three forward. It would be violating our commitment to the American people."

Cutting three judges from the D.C. Circuit is a "reasonable compromise," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

How much bullshit? Total bullshit. They're using pure conjecture, an insane theory in which filling existing vacancies on a court is "court-packing," and an anonymous survey of judges by Sen. Chuck Grassley on their workload. Grassley used the responses of two(!) of these judges to claim that the workload of the court didn't merit more judges. A whole bunch of judges, including John Roberts, the guy who is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and served on the D.C. Circuit disagree.

But bullshit is how the Republicans roll. They've already registered political objections to one of President Obama's nominees to the D.C. Circuit, Nina Pillard, indicating they won't let her get a vote. Based on Thursday's hearing, they're not going to allow the other two—Leon Wilkins and Millet—votes either. Kumbaya, indeed.

Tell your Democratic senators to keep filibuster reform moving, and to bring back the talking filibuster.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 12:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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