The U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia is the second most important court in the country. It has special jurisdiction for reviewing the actions of federal agencies. Additionally, under the Voting Rights Act, one of its members is required to sit on three-judge panels that decide whether to preclear voting changes by jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination.
Four of the eleven seats on the D.C. Circuit are now vacant. This is the highest vacancy rate the court has ever experienced. One of the seats has been vacant since September 2005, when D.C. Circuit Judge John Roberts was appointed to Chief Justice of the United States. LDF is calling upon President Obama and the Senate to expeditiously nominate and confirm judges who bring racial and professional diversity to this court.
Listen to LDF Director of the Washington, D.C. Office Leslie Proll discuss these judicial vacanies on NPR Morning Edition.