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ADVISORY: Former Chief Judge for D.C. Circuit to Discuss Crippling Impact of Court Vacancies

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277

March 25, 2013, 12:00 p.m. ET – 1:30 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C. — On Monday, March 25, the Hon. Patricia M. Wald, former chief judge on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, will deliver introductory remarks for an event at the Center for American Progress on the crippling effect that D.C. Circuit vacancies have on the court’s ability to decide critical cases that impact the lives of Americans. A panel of experts will discuss why, despite the D.C. Circuit being the second-most important court in the United States, four of the court’s 11 seats remain vacant—and how these vacancies impact key court decisions.

Earlier this month and for the second time in two years, Senate Republicans blocked the confirmation of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court. President Barack Obama remains the only president in the history of the court not to have a nominee to the D.C. Circuit confirmed. This unfortunate political reality has real policy implications because the D.C. Circuit has sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers and decisions made by government agencies affecting issues such as health care, national security, environmental rules, and consumer protections and workplace safety. The D.C. Circuit recently gained attention for a case it decided invalidating President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Andrew Blotky, Director, Legal Progress, Center for American Progress

Introductory remarks:
Hon. Patricia M. Wald, former Chief Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Distinguished panelists:
David Baron, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice
Leslie Proll, Director, Washington, D.C. Office, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Judy Scott, General Counsel, Service Employees International Union
Steve Vladeck, Professor of Law, American University; expert in national security law

Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society


March 25, 2013
12:00 p.m. ET – 1:30 p.m. ET
A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.


Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005


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For more information, please contact Madeline Meth at


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