President Obama will soon nominate three judges at once to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit–often called the second most important court in the country.
Not only would the aggressive move tilt the conservative court in Obama’s favor, analysts argue, but it could also highlight GOP obstructionism by essentially “daring Republicans to find specific ground to filibuster all the nominees,” writes The New York Times’ Michael Shear, who first reported the story.
The report comes on the heels of last week’s confirmation of Sri Srinivasan, the president’s first successful nominee to the 11-member court, which now has an even split between Democratic and Republican appointees. If Obama can successfully fill the three remaining vacancies, it could mean a crucial boost for his ambitious second-term agenda.
The report also follows an acrimonious week of Republican infighting, as Sen. John McCain sparred with Tea Party darlings Sens. Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz over how to move forward on the budget.
Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard sees Obama’s court maneuver as an effort to further exploit the deepening cracks within the GOP.
“When it comes to these judicial nominations, [the president] sees a chance to really divide Republicans in the Senate,” said Goddard on msnbc Tuesday. “There are conservative Republicans who will block any nomination under any circumstance. He is trying to drive that wedge between some of the more moderate Republicans, who realize the president needs to push forward with this.”
Watch host Thomas Roberts discuss the latest on this report with Tuesday’s Agenda panel.