Feminist Majority Applauds Change in Senate Filibuster Rules and the Confirmation of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Senate voted 52-48 today to change the filibuster rules to require a simple majority – rather than 60 votes – to end debate on presidential nominees to the executive branch and the federal bench, with the exception of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

“We congratulate Senator Reid on his leadership,” said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. “Republicans have been engaging in an egregious abuse of power by systematically blocking presidential nominees to the federal bench and disproportionately affecting the appointment of highly qualified women and people of color.”

Immediately after the rule change, the Senate voted 55-43 to confirm Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett is an accomplished lawyer who has argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and has had over a dozen years of service in the Department of Justice. She was one of three very qualified women nominated to this D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals who were recently blocked by Senate Republicans.

“At last we will break the logjam of judicial and executive appointments, end the dysfunction of the Senate, and stop Republican denial of the re-election of President Obama” said Smeal.