Lawyers’ Committee Disappointed with Senate’s Rejection of FHFA Nominee Rep. Mel Watt and D.C. Court Nominee Patricia Millett


WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 4, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Following the Senate’s October 31st cloture votes regarding Patricia Millett’s appointment to the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Representative Mel Watt’s appointment to the Federal Housing Finance Agency the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released the statement below:

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The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law joins numerous civil rights organizations and the legal community in expressing extreme disappointment in the Senate cloture votes, blocking Rep. Mel Watt and Patricia Millett from appointment to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, respectively. Rep. Mel Watt represents North Carolina’s 12th District in the House, and is the first sitting member of Congress to be filibustered since the Civil War. Patricia Millett is one of the most talented and seasoned litigators in the country, having argued over 32 cases before the Supreme Court. She received the “Unanimously Well Qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and a strong endorsement from seven former Solicitor Generals. Both candidates are extraordinarily well-qualified for their nomination.

“Patricia Millett’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit is long-overdue and it’s quite sad that she was denied an up or down vote based on partisan fighting, which has resulted in rejections of President Obama’s well-qualified nominees,” said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Barbara R. Arnwine. “It is alarming that certain Senators are questioning the qualifications of Congressman Watt, who has been elected by voters, and has remarkably served in the House for over 20 years” added Lawyers’ Committee Public Policy Director Tanya Clay House. “It is sad to once again see this level of partisan obstructionism that is blocking our justice system, and we call upon the Senate to do what is necessary to ensure these two extremely qualified candidates are immediately confirmed.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2013 as we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending; community development; employment; voting; education and environmental justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit

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