Obama Picks Pawns in Political Fight as GOP Aims to Cut Down D.C. Circuit Court

Flanked by his nominees for seats on the D.C. Circuit Court, President Obama’s stern words about Republican obstructionism didn’t dampen the celebratory mood evident in the Rose Garden among the assembled guests, including Democratic lawmakers, liberal advocacy groups, and even embattled Attorney General Eric Holder, looking relaxed as he chatted with well-wishers on a sunny Tuesday morning. This is a showdown that Democrats have wanted for a long time, and when Obama said his efforts to fill three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit are not “court-packing,” as some Republicans allege, laughter rippled through the crowd even as the nominees kept their poker faces in an exemplary display of judicial temperament.