President Obama has nominated to the DC Circuit arguable his most extreme judicial nominee yet, Professor Cornelia Pillard. A quick example of this is her views on social issues. As legal expert Ed Whelan describes
In a single sentence, Pillard contends that for “sex education conservatives” (i.e., supporters of abstinence-only sex education), “ females’ chastity is more important than males’; …  marriage is the only proper venue for sexual intimacy; [and]  men’s sex drive and sexual satisfaction is privileged while women’s is demonized [!] or ignored” (p. 953). But the second proposition contradicts or undercuts the other two. If abstinence-only advocates regard marriage as the “only proper venue for sexual intimacy,” it is difficult to see how they regard male chastity as less important than female chastity. In the free-for-all sexual culture in which we live, it is at most a very limited “privilege” for a man’s “sexual satisfaction” to be reserved to marriage. And if Pillard has any evidence that even remotely supports her assertion that women’s “sex drive and sexual satisfaction … [are] demonized” by abstinence-only curricula, I missed it.
You don’t have to take the word of a legal expert like Whelan, the entire Supreme Court including its most liberal Justices have rejected Pillard’s views.
[In the] case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC. Among other things, Pillard (according to her prepared text) said that the case “strikes [her] as a strong case for the employee” and that “the big news will be if the Court decides it for the Church.” She labeled the Lutheran Church’s position “a substantial threat to the American rule of law.”
As it turned out, of course, on the fundamental question of religious liberty at stake in that case, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the church entity. So that’s further confirmation that Pillard is well to the left of all nine justices.
What makes her nomination even more troubling is there no need. The DC Circuit does notneed additional judges.
The thing is, virtually everyone agrees that the D.C. Circuit — with the lowest number of appeals filed annually — does not need more judges because it is already significantly under-worked. According to legal expert Ed Whelan, the D.C. Circuit’s total pending appeals dropped around 10% since 2005, falling from 1,463 to 1,315from September 2005 to September 2012, while pending appeals per active judge increased by only one case. The Circuit’s judges, including the contributions of senior judges, now have around two-thirds the workload of their colleagues in 1995-96.
Senate Democrats once agreed. In 2006, every Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee member, including Sen. Schumer and then-Sen. Joe Biden, wrote a letter opposing the nomination of Peter Keisler because the court was underworked.
Ms. Pillard is a liberal extremist nominee to placate the President’s far left base for a position that is not needed.