Reid: Filing court vacancies is not ‘court packing’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) defended President Obama’s D.C. Appellate Court nominee Wednesday, saying it’s the president's job to fill court vacancies.

Some Republicans have vowed to block all of Obama’s D.C. Circuit Court nominees, including Patricia Millett, who is expected to get a procedural vote later this week.

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“This is about stacking the court by changing the majority,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Tuesday. “So there is no mystery about what is going on here … they want to pack the court with judges who will rubber stamp their big government agenda.”

Reid said Millett’s nomination isn’t about “court packing.”

“It’s truly a shame some Republicans would filibuster this exceptionally qualified nominee for political reasons,” Reid said. “Republicans claim that filling these three vacant seats would result in court packing — this is ridiculous. It’s not seat packing — it’s filling vacancies. … It’s the president’s job.”

Cornyn and other Republicans have propose moving two D.C. Circuit vacancies to other courts around the country where there are judicial emergency backlogs. He said if the three D.C. seats were filled that there wouldn’t be enough “work to go around.”