National Partnership for Women & Families

Confirmation of Nina Pillard Strengthens Nation’s Courts

Statement of Judith L. Lichtman, Senior Advisor, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — December 12, 2013 —

“The Senate acted wisely today by voting to confirm Cornelia (Nina) Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Her confirmation strengthens the federal bench, reduces the number of judicial vacancies, and helps diversify one of the nation’s most important courts by putting an unprecedented five women on the D.C. Circuit.

Pillard will bring a welcome commitment to equal justice under the law to this court. She is a veteran appellate lawyer with mainstream judicial philosophies and vast experience arguing before the Supreme Court.

In addition, Pillard is well known to the National Partnership for Women & Families. She represented our client, pro bono, in 2003 when she successfully argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold the family leave provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act as applied to state employers. In fact, in Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, Pillard convinced then-Chief Justice Rehnquist to write the majority opinion protecting this essential law and the workers who rely on it.

The National Partnership also worked closely with Pillard on the 1996 Supreme Court case, United States v. Virginia, in which she successfully argued for the solicitor general that the exclusion of women from the Virginia Military Institute violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has national jurisdiction and a caseload that affects women’s rights, workers’ rights, access to health care, federal agencies and much more. This confirmation is good news for the country.”


Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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