Today the Senate confirmed Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit in a 56-38 vote. Democrats have made it clear that they want a court that will help Obama’s administrative agencies get around constitutional and legal limits on their power, and today they are one step closer to that goal.
The president favors working through his agencies — the EPA, the NLRB, and the HHS, to name just a few — because that way he doesn’t have to worry about a democratic check on his agenda. With D.C. Circuit judges handpicked to give his agencies a pass, he won’t have to worry about legal checks, either. We might as well start considering the D.C. Circuit an extension of the Obama White House.
Democrats aren’t pulling any punches now that they can move forward with a 51-vote majority; I expect Republicans to return the favor when they are in power.