For the third time in three weeks, obstructionists in the U.S. Senate blocked a highly-qualified nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals, filibustering current U.S. District Court judge Robert L. Wilkins. In June, President Obama nominated Wilkins, Nina Pillard, and Patricia Millett to fill three existing vacancies on the Court often recognized as the second most important appellate court in the nation and the venue that often represents the final ruling on clean air and climate laws.
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:
“By obstructing Robert Wilkins today, Republican extremists blocked the same man from confirmation that many of them unanimously approved just three years ago.
Who do these obstructionists think they are kidding? The gridlock they’ve created has nothing to do with the qualifications of the nominees and everything to do with politics and pushing the agenda of their big polluter allies. They’ll do anything it takes to skew the court that is often the last word on clean air and climate action.
Big polluters and their political allies shouldn’t be allowed to abuse the rules and put their fingers on the scales of justice any longer. Nina Pillard, Patricia Millett, and Robert Wilkins deserve an up-or-down vote now. If this obstruction continues, it’s time for the Senate to end the gridlock and pursue common sense rules reform that ensures our courts and our democracy function full-time -- and not just when a handful of obstructionists agree.”