Senate Republicans block Obama’s anti-gun nominee
For the second time in two years, Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked the judicial nomination of Caitlin Halligan, who they say is radically anti-gun.
Halligan, originally nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Barack Obama in 2010, received 51 votes Wednesday morning primarily from Senate Democrats, but that total failed to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to stop a GOP filibuster.
Only Republican Sen. Lisa Murskowski of Alaska sided with Democrats on the vote. She says judicial nominees deserve an up-or-down vote.
This is the second time Republicans have blocked Halligan’s appointment on the Senate floor. The first came in December 2011, when 45 Republicans successfully filibustered the nod.
While Halligan proponents believe she’s properly qualified for the powerful appellate court, often seen as a stepping stone to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republicans say her gun views are extremist and that she’s engaged in judicial activism throughout her public career.
Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticized Halligan’s attempts to hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed with their products in two cases, 2001’s New York v. Sturm, Ruger Co., and 2006’s New York City v. Beretta.
“Those lawsuits are a prime example of how activists on the far left try to use the courts to affect social policy changes that they are unable to achieve through the ballot box,” Grassley said. “That is why I believe those lawsuits represented not only bad policy, but more broadly, an activist approach to the law.”