Senate Confirms First of Three Nominees to D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Following historic rules change, senators allow Patricia Millett to take seat on critical court


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

Today, the United States Senate confirmed Patricia A. Millett to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Millett’s confirmation came as a result of the historic, November 21 change to the chamber’s rules, which allows most presidential nominees to be confirmed by a simple majority vote. In the weeks preceding the rules change, a minority in the Senate blocked up-or-down votes on three D.C. Circuit nominees—Millett, Cornelia T.L. Pillard, and District Judge Robert L. Wilkins.

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 Patricia Millett, two of the court’s eleven seats remain to be filled.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Legislative Counsel Sean Helle:

“We congratulate Patricia Millett on her confirmation—and thank her for taking on the critical work of the D.C. Circuit.

“Today’s vote marks a much-needed departure from the unprecedented gridlock of recent years. We commend the Senate for its action and urge it to move swiftly in granting up-or-down votes to the President’s remaining D.C. Circuit nominees—Nina Pillard and Robert Wilkins.”

Additional Resources

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.