Friday, January 18, 2013

Obomination: The Audacity of Renominating a Failed Nominee

Caitlin Halligan has been nominated by President Obama for the D.C. Circuit.  Sound familiar?  It should, because Obama already did it in 2010.  That nomination failed to get through the Senate in 2011, but that doesn’t seem to stop Obama in 2013.  The 44th President is thumbing his nose at the many Senators who expressed legitimate concerns about this nominee. 

The Republican National Lawyers Association sent the Senate a formal letter of opposition to Caitlin Halligan when she nominated the first time.  The second time around, the nomination is still problematic and these concerns remain. 

According to CNN, here’s why she was opposed the first time:

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had said Halligan met the "extraordinary circumstances" standard for a filibuster under a 2005 Senate agreement that allowed filibusters of judicial nominees only in extreme cases. McConnell complained about Halligan's legal positions on gun rights, detainee rights, and immigration and said she would bring an activist agenda to the court.

In 2011, Senator Chuck Grassley said of Halligan, “Based on her record, I simply do not believe she will be able to put aside her long record of liberal advocacy and be a fair and impartial jurist.”

Halligan’s nomination was a circumstance that many considered “extraordinary.”  Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and Olympia Snowe of Maine – were members of the “Gang of 14” that agreed back in 2005 that they would not support any filibuster except under “extraordinary circumstances.”  They all voted no on Halligan.

High scrutiny is appropriate for a nomination to the D.C. Circuit, which is often a stepping stone to the U.S. Supreme Court.  To try to ram through a nominee which failed the test of Senate scrutiny, shows the audacity of the 44th President.  And that’s an Obomination.

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