Senate Republicans block floor vote for key Obama judicial nominee
March 6th, 2013
11:33 AM ET
2 years ago

Senate Republicans block floor vote for key Obama judicial nominee

Washington (CNN) - Caitlin Halligan, a top judicial nominee of President Obama, was denied a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor Wednesday, after Republicans expressed concern she would be an "activist" on the bench.

Now general counsel for Manhattan's district attorney's office, she is one of two nominees named in January by Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seen by many as a professional stepping stone to the Supreme Court. She would fill the seat vacated by John Roberts, who joined the high court in 2005 and is now chief justice.

A 51-41 cloture vote failed to achieve the necessary 60 senators to end debate on Halligan's qualifications, with Democrats complaining she was being unfairly filibustered. Her third nomination to this judicial seat remains in political limbo.


Filed under: President Obama • Senate Republicans
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. lolo

    Here we go aqain. Something is wrong with these republican lunatics. Hatred is eating them alive.

    March 6, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Another Opinion

    There they go again, the obstuctionist Repubs once again take revenge on America for not drinking their cool-aid ! We just spent the last 4 years, being paid with NO on anything for the American people and now the song continues to play !

    March 6, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Eugene9

    Dear Harry Reid, I believe you had a gentleman's agreement (you called it that) with Sen. McConnell that he would not do stupid stuff like blocking important appointments, and so you would not change the Senate rules to allow a 51 vote majority to pass bills. I'm sure by now you really regret making that agreement, but it's not too late. Go to the public and announce that Sen. McConnell's side has broken faith with your agreement, and because of that you feel free to put the rule change back, and so gridlock takes it on the chin. Please put up your dukes, Senator. The GOP is going to keep picking you apart until you stand up for what's right.

    March 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. SF66

    Typical of the Grand Obstructionist Party.

    March 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Name

    Cut their wages!

    March 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Mike

    Same old thing from the Republicans this is why they can't win an election.

    March 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. common sense

    "Activist" = Someone I don't agree with.

    "Republican" = Pathetic hypocrite

    March 6, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. rick

    Wow, the Republican will just not let this President do anything. Something is terribly wrong in the country when one party can just stop all work.

    March 6, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. emskadittle

    after Scalia's comments the other day, I don't think republicans in the senate should talk about activist judges

    March 6, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Name lynn

    The republicans is angry with obama for not agreeing with the budget cuts, now they are blocking for obama is wanting the lady for the seat, them is some stupid republicans an what obama wants he gets them republicans met their match when it comes to obama.

    March 6, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. AmericaStand

    He is doing something, he's doubled the national debt in four years from $8 trillion to almost $17 trillion, while Bush was called unpatriotic for adding $5 trillion in 8 years. Typical liberal double standards.

    March 6, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Boo

    I wish a sinkhole would swallow these morons on the right......

    March 6, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. garak99

    He we Bleeping go again after Citizens United The Republicans talk about "Activist Judges" This has got to Stop

    March 6, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    More of the same old obstructionist tactics from the party of angry old white men. Looks like the new Republican Party with better ideas is actually the same old party that put partisan politics before country.

    March 6, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. garak99

    Here we Bleeping Go again another Obama nominee Blocked

    March 6, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. ejr1953

    During the Bush years the Administration complained all the time about giving their nominees an "up or down vote" in the Senate. Now that the "shoe is on the other foot", it seems that isn't so important. More reason to do away with the filibuster, and make the Senators actually stand up and speak, if they want to hold up votes on nominees or legislation.

    March 6, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Yanni

    How on earth anybody who is with the right mind work with these people.? We should have closed our congress offices and save the money to finance for our dire needs. America is resource full nation on earth how these people are seating in the leadership position shows the demise of democracy practiced by least educated voters.

    March 6, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    Bi-cameral results this. Bickering, nagging, pourin dirt–common. To escape these hurdles elect straight democratic party. For poor and middle class America. Enough ruins.

    March 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    The Republicans have blocked a lot more judicial nominees in the last four years than what's been reported.

    March 6, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. PaulCat

    Okay, what esle is new?
    I'm willing to bet that McCain & Graham is somewhere in the picture.
    "SOMEBODY PLEASE"

    March 6, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. CA Independent

    To: Another Opinion

    There they go again, the obstuctionist Repubs once again take revenge on America for not drinking their cool-aid ! We just spent the last 4 years, being paid with NO on anything for the American people and now the song continues to play !
    -------

    And when Democrats blocked votes, that was OK with you? Or are you simply too ignorant to understand that both parties have been doing this for some time? Or could the nominee really be the wrong person for the job? It's her third nomination, perhaps not the best choice.

    March 6, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. ghostriter

    CA Independent, record number of filibusters and counting.

    We don't even know anymore if the person is or isn't qualified. What we do know is that blocking votes while not new, has never been used like this, this often and over everything they possible can. This false equivalency is horrid.

    If they have a reason, they should just say it. They had no reason for Hagel (that wasn't politically motivated), Brennan nor this one. Even so, voice the objection and move on to the vote. There comes a time when there is nothing else to talk about.

    March 6, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Activist or not shouldn't be a criteria for blocking someone to the bench. If they don't have a temprament to be a judge, then that would be cause for concern. Will they be clearly favoring one side or another; if so, then there is going to be a problem with that person being a judge. There needs to be more of problem other than being a possible activist judge. Let the Senate confirm everyone who doesn't have a problem so that we get all the open judge seats filled.

    March 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. John in Brooklyn

    ...and when they say "activist", the GOP really means "NOT an activist for wealthy people and corporations."

    March 6, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. yolanda

    In 2011 Halligan received 54 votes in favor of confirmation. There appears to be some slippage in her support base. Perhaps her 2nd Amendment views are reinvigorating NRA pressure on senators????

    March 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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