Senate Rejects Obama Nominee Halligan for Top Federal Appeals Court

Senate Rejects Obama Nominee Halligan for Top Federal Appeals Court

The U.S. Senate rejected a motion to proceed to a final vote on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Of the nine justices on the Supreme Court, four were formerly judges on the D.C. Circuit. It is the most prestigious and most powerful of the thirteen federal appeals courts. Halligan was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill the seat on that court formerly held by John Roberts before his elevation to chief justice of the United States.    

This is the fourth time the Senate has voted against Halligan. While she has a very impressive resume as a lawyer, she’s also extremely progressive, to the point of being called radical by some. 

For example, she argued in court that handguns should be ruled a public nuisance that courts have power to regulate outside of any legislation, and argued that gun manufacturers should be held liable when criminals use a firearm in a crime. Such a ruling could have bankrupted every gun maker in the United States.

Even New York’s Court of Appeals–the highest court in that state and renowned for its liberalism–rejected her public-nuisance argument out of hand as being beyond the pale.

It says a great deal about Obama that he keeps trying to put Halligan on the D.C. Circuit. It’s reminiscent of his pushing the radical Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit. Liu was eventually defeated, and then appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court. A judiciary stacked with such judges would fundamentally transform the Constitution and laws of this country.

Halligan’s nomination was filibustered by a vote of 51-41. It takes 60 votes to end a filibuster. No word yet on whether Obama is finally going to give up on this one.

Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.