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A filibuster dare? Obama reportedly plans three simultaneous nominations to DC Circuit

Posted May 28, 2013 9:04 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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President Obama is reportedly planning a bold move after winning approval for Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan for a spot on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In a “more aggressive” strategy, Obama plans to nominate three people simultaneously to the federal appeals court, the New York Times reports. “He will effectively be daring Republicans to find specific ground to filibuster all the nominees,” the story says. An announcement could come this week.

With Srinivasan’s confirmation, the court currently has four judges who are Democratic appointees and four who are Republican appointees. However, five out of six senior judges are Republican appointees, giving the court “a strongly conservative flavor,” the Times says.

The Times reports on three names that have surfaced as possible nominees. They are Georgetown law professor Cornelia Pillard, who formerly worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; consumer and investor lawyer David Frederick, who worked for five years in the Solicitor General’s office; and appellate lawyer Patricia Ann Millett of Akin Gump, who worked for a decade in the Solicitor General’s office.

Democrats plan to schedule several confirmation votes on federal court nominees this summer, which could bring attention to the filibuster issue if votes are blocked. Some Democrats hope the publicity could lead to a rule change that would prevent filibusters of judicial nominees, the story says.

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