GOP senator opposes filling DC court vacancies

July 24, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are signaling their opposition to new nominees from President Barack Obama to a key appeals court, just a week after the Senate hashed out a compromise for confirming several of his choices to head federal agencies.

The GOP used a confirmation hearing for law professor Cornelia "Nina" Pillard to stake out their opposition to filling three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Obama nominated Pillard and two others last month to fill the vacancies.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says the D.C. circuit doesn't have enough work to justify filling the vacancies.

The D.C. appeals court now has an equal number of Democratic and Republican nominated judges. It is often viewed as the second most important court the country, behind the Supreme Court.