November 13, 2013

Senator Warren Denounces Republican Filibusters of President Obama's Three Female Nominees to D.C. Circuit Court

In Senate Floor Speech, Warren Says Senate Has Duty to Change Filibuster Rules to Protect Democracy, Neutrality of the Courts

Full Text of Senator Warren's Remarks Available Here

Washington, DC - Today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered remarks on the floor of the Senate on Republicans' shameless efforts to block President Obama's three female nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court. Republicans filibustered the nominations of Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, the nomination of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit last week, and the nomination of Caitlin Halligan earlier this year - three fair, balanced nominees with diverse experiences and bipartisan support.

"The powerful interests that work to rig the Supreme Court also want to rig the lower courts," explained Senator Warren. "The D.C. Circuit is a particular target because that court has the power to overturn agency regulations." Warren noted that nine of the fourteen judges on the D.C. Circuit who currently hear cases were appointed by Republicans, and that the court has been busy striking down agency regulations.

"Republicans may not like Wall Street Reform. They may not like Obamacare. But Congress passed those laws," said Senator Warren. "President Obama signed those laws. President Obama ran for reelection on those laws, while his opponent pledged to repeal them-and his opponent lost by nearly five million votes.  It is not up to judges to overturn those laws or their associated regulations just because they don't fit those judges' policy preferences."

Senator Warren called Republicans efforts to rig the D.C. Circuit by blocking the President's highly qualified judicial nominees "naked attempts to nullify the results of the last Presidential election" and argued that if the filibusters continue, "then Senators not only have a right to change the filibuster rules - Senators have a duty to change the filibuster rules. We cannot turn our backs on the Constitution. We cannot abdicate our oath of office.  We have a responsibility to protect and defend our democracy, and that includes protecting the neutrality of our courts - and preserving the Constitutional power of the President to nominate highly qualified people to fill their vacancies.