“Today’s unfortunate vote damaged the Senate and was designed to try to change the topic from the millions of Americans losing their jobs and their healthcare because of Obamacare. Just like President Obama promised, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it,’ so too Harry Reid repeatedly promised he would not use the ‘nuclear option’ to change the Senate rules. Both, sadly, ignored their promises and broke their word. And, in yet another partisan abuse of power, the Democrats are now shamelessly working to pack the DC Circuit, so that President Obama’s lawless disregard of our statutes and Constitution will not be held to account by an impartial judiciary.”
Obama has been trying to push three new judges onto the court even though the court is not in dire need of more judges.
David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman wrote in The Hill, ‘the court’s caseload is among the lowest of the courts of appeals, at 88 cases per judge, and declining. According to one current judge, “If any more judges were added now, there wouldn’t be enough work to go around.”‘
So why three new judges? And why now?
The best explanation is that the court has played an important role checking the Obama administration’s most legally adventuresome actions. It blocked Obama administration regulations that required some states to reduce air pollution by more than they actually emitted and struck down the president’s attempt to bypass the Senate by “recess” appointing pro-union lawyers to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was still in session.
Just recently, it ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to follow the law and reopen consideration of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, which the Administration had shut down for political reasons. The court felt the need to remind the administration: “The President and federal agencies may not ignore statutory mandates or prohibitions merely because of policy disagreement with Congress.”
Thanks to Harry Reid’s cute move, today, the DC Circuit’s reputation for “careful legal reasoning and attention to detail” will soon be degraded to something closer to a rubber stamp for Obama.