LDF welcomed today’s vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve the nomination of Cornelia (“Nina”) Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Pillard was one of three persons nominated by President Obama to the D.C. Circuit in a Rose Garden ceremony in June.
Pillard is a nationally renowned law professor and appellate lawyer. She teaches at Georgetown University Law School, where she helps run the Supreme Court Institute, which prepares lawyers for oral argument before the Supreme Court, without regard to position or issue.
President Obama has stated that “Nina Pillard’s career has been defined by an unshakeable commitment to the public good.” She served in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States and the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. She has argued nine cases in the Supreme Court and has briefed dozens more. She wrote the winning briefs in the landmark case, United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 151 (1997), which opened the doors of the Virginia Military Institute to female students.
After clerking with Judge Louis H. Pollak on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Pillard began her legal career with LDF under the leadership of Julius Chambers. During her five year tenure with LDF, she successfully litigated on behalf of victims of discrimination in trial and appellate courts around the country.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a former LDF cooperating attorney, praised Pillard’s nomination at the Judiciary Committee meeting where the vote occurred: “This person is extraordinary on the merits.” Blumenthal noted Pillard’s “profound and deep commitment to following the principles and precedents of the Supreme Court.”
Pillard’s nomination will now proceed to consideration by the entire Senate. Leslie Proll, Director of LDF’s Washington Office, hopes for a swift confirmation. “We trust the Senate will recognize that Nina is a tremendously qualified nominee, who would be an incredible asset to the D.C. Circuit. We look forward to her confirmation.”