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Obama knocks Senate GOP for blocking court pick

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he's deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have blocked his nomination to fill a vacancy on a powerful appeals court.

Republicans on Monday blocked the nomination of Robert L. Wilkins, a District Court judge in Washington, from filling one of three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Wilkins is the third straight nominee to the court Republicans have stopped from being seated.

Obama says the American people and the judicial system deserve better. He says the obstruction is unprecedented and that all the nominees are highly qualified.

Obama says in a statement that he's fulfilling his constitutional responsibility, but Congress isn't. He says Senate Republicans are standing in the way of a fully functioning judiciary that serves Americans.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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