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Statement Announcing the Recess Appointment of Three Judges to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals

October 24, 1970

WHEN the Congress recessed on October 14, the Senate District of Columbia Committee left unfinished a matter of extreme urgency. The committee failed to recommend confirmation of my nominations of three new judges to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Since the fair administration of justice in our Nation's Capital urgently requires better handling of the enormous workload confronting the courts, I am today announcing the recess appointments of those three judges.

They are: Hubert Pair, a distinguished attorney, Walter Yeagley, an Assistant U.S. Attorney General who has served in that capacity under four Presidents, and Gerard Reilly, a distinguished attorney and former member of the National Labor Relations Board.

These three outstanding nominees have received the approval of the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association.

It is not clear just why the District of Columbia Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Tydings failed to act on these nominations. I understand that there has been some objection on political grounds, but I believe that the unquestioned qualifications of these men should override consideration of politics. I have also heard that the chairman of the District of Columbia Committee objects to these nominees because they are more than 60 years old. Certainly the great contributions of American jurists after the age of 60 is sufficient evidence to counter that criticism. More than ever today we need mature and experienced judgment in our courts.

As I make these recess appointments, I am confident that the United States Senate, when it reconvenes next month, will vote to confirm these distinguished judges.

Note: The statement was released at Dundalk, Md.

A White House announcement, released September 22, 1970, on the President's intention to nominate the three attorneys to be judges on the new District of Columbia Court of Appeals is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, 1256 ).

Richard Nixon, Statement Announcing the Recess Appointment of Three Judges to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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