The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second-most important federal court in the country, has not been fully staffed in over a few years. This court hears some of the most complicated cases, from vital national security challenges to reviews of federal regulatory agencies, and the court is hearing them without a full slate of judges. Nominees to fill the vacant seats – including three well-qualified female jurists – have been obstructed at nearly every turn.
What’s worse is that one of those female nominees is being attacked with accusations that quite frankly sound like something out of the 1950s or 1960s. Georgetown Law Professor Cornelia “Nina” Pillard is a “scary feminist,” a “radical feminist,” they’re saying.
Pillard’s detractors are wrong. Their comments are offensive, and U.S. senators should know better than to fall for hyped-up, false attacks on a nominee’s gender. Urge your senators to support Pillard’s nomination when it comes up for a vote this week .
Pillard has a distinguished career of working with lawyers on both sides of the aisle. She has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and is best known for her argument that convinced a nearly unanimous Supreme Court to open the Virginia Military Institute to women. She worked alongside Bush administration attorneys to successfully defend the Family and Medical Leave Act in the courts. She has consistently opposed government policies that treat men and women differently based on outmoded stereotypes that harm both sexes.
When the Senate adjusted its rules for considering judicial and executive nominations last month, it paved a path forward for the up-or-down confirmation vote that had previously been denied to Pillard. The Senate is expected to reconsider Pillard’s nomination this week, which gives your senators a chance to confirm this outstanding jurist who is uniquely qualified because of her work on AAUW priority issues.
Please, urge your senators to vote for Nina Pillard’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The seats on the D.C. Circuit Court have been empty for far too long, and Nina Pillard is exactly the right kind of person to seat on the bench.