Today, the United States Senate confirmed District Judge Robert L. Wilkins to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ last open seat. Wilkins will join judges Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, both of whom were confirmed following the Senate’s historic November 2013 rules change—a change that allows most presidential nominees to be approved by a simple majority vote.
The D.C. Circuit is second only to the United States Supreme Court in its environmental importance, often determining whether Americans across the country have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a healthy environment to leave for their children. With the confirmation of Judge Wilkins, each of the court’s eleven seats will now be filled.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice Legislative Counsel Sean Helle:
“We congratulate Judge Wilkins on his confirmation, and thank him for taking up the D.C. Circuit’s important work.
“For far too long, the D.C. Circuit has been compromised by empty seats. With today’s vote, the court’s vacancy crisis was finally brought to an end. We commend the Senate for its action. And we thank Senator Reid for providing the leadership required to get this done.”