The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is frequently referred to as the nation's second-highest court. Even in the burgeoning realm of federal court fiction, the D.C. Circuit is considered to be the "most prestigious and arguably most powerful federal appeals court."
With so much power at stake, presidents are typically itching for an opportunity to make judicial nominations for the D.C. Circuit, but that doesn't mean that they can deliver a confirmation. Case in point: At the end of his first term, it's unlikely that President Obama will have added a single judge to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Reuter reports. While there are three vacancies on the bench, Obama is about to become the first president in at least half a century to finish a full term without an appointment to the circuit.
So why is this particular appellate court such a big deal?