Senate Poised to Block Obama Court Nominee
For the second time in two years, Senate Republicans are poised to block the nomination of a former New York state solicitor general to a federal appeals court.
The Senate is set to vote on a cloture petition on Caitlin Halligan’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Wednesday, unless a winter storm that hit the nation’s capital overnight causes delays.
Most Republicans are expected to unite against her nomination, preventing Democrats from reaching the 60 votes needed to pass the cloture motion. Without that step, Democrats can’t hold a final confirmation vote.
It is the latest case of Republicans stymieing a judicial nomination by President Barack Obama. GOP senators blocked Goodwin Liu, a nominee to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in May 2011, and many other nominations to federal courts have faced long delays. Republicans observe that many of President George W. Bush’s nominees received the same treatment from Democrats.
Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would oppose Ms. Halligan’s nomination because of the “potential for her judicial activism” if she were confirmed to the D.C. Circuit.