President Obama wants controversial nominees like Caitlin Halligan to breeze through the Senate confirmation process even when there are concerns about the nominee. The Senate should not let such nominees be confirmed.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Caitlin Halligan has taken “extreme positions on constitutional issues, pushing the court beyond what I think is reasonable.” Halligan’s extreme positions include her views on gun rights, abortion and the detention and trial of enemy combatants.
As the Committee for Justice blog explained, there are specifically concerns about whether Halligan is upholding constitutionally recognized Second Amendment rights:
Citing Halligan’s “attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans,” the National Rifle Association opposed a judicial nominee for one of the few times in its history. Gun Owners of America cited Halligan’s “avid leader[ship] in the effort to destroy firearms manufacturers using frivolous litigation,” and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms deemed her to be “Obama’s most radical anti-gun judicial nominee to date.”
To push through this controversial nominee, Democrats are claiming that Obama’s judicial nominees have been unfairly obstructed. However, a higher percentage of Obama’s first-term nominees have been confirmed than the Democrats permitted during President George W. Bush’s first term. Furthermore, 60% of court vacancies have no nominee from the White House. The Democrat claims of obstruction are unfounded.
Senators are not obstructionists if they oppose Halligan. They should exercise their rightful authority to oppose nominees who are extreme.