Obama: Court nominees would impact 'almost every aspect of our lives'

In tapping three judges at once to the 11-member bench, Obama is effectively daring Republicans to filibuster the choices, a move that could backfire if it is seen as overtly political.

Laying the groundwork for that argument, Obama made the case that the vacancies urgently need to be filled and derided the filibuster tactics — employed by both Democrats and Republicans — that slow the confirmation process.

“For the good of the American people, it has to stop,” he said.  “Too much of the people’s business is at stake.”

Some Republicans however question whether additional judges are needed at all on the D.C. Circuit. They point to statistics showing the court’s workload, at least in terms of the number of cases it reviews, is actually less strenuous than other circuits.

“The D.C. Circuit is among the most important federal appellate courts in the country, but it is also one of the least busy,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “For this reason, both Democrats and Republicans have long agreed that the D.C. Circuit does not need additional judges.”