Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is advocating for the nomination of Caitlin Halligan for a slot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, calling for a vote to move the stalled nominee forward.
Reid on Thursday said the U.S. Senate next weel will vote on whether to invoke cloture on Halligan’s nomination for the appeals court. A successful vote against cloture would effectively doom the nomination. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday at noon.
“Caitlin Halligan is a widely respected attorney with an impressive background and long record of public service,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a prepared statement Friday morning. Leahy said he is “disappointed that cloture is required to move forward with debate on her nomination.”
Leahy said he is confident “a majority of Senators will find her to be a well qualified nominee, worthy of the praise and support she has received from law enforcement, her peers, and other civil servants.”
The judiciary committee voted 10-8 in March to send the nomination to the full Senate. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) criticized Halligan then and questioned whether the D.C. Circuit caseload supports adding another judge.
Grassley did not intend to immediately comment today on the cloture motion, a spokeswoman said. This year, gun rights advocates said they are opposed to Halligan. As New York state’s solicitor general, Halligan sued gun manufacturers as public nuisances.
The court has three vacancies. One slot has remained open since 2005, when John Roberts Jr. was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Barack Obama nominated Halligan in January to fill Roberts’ vacancy.
D.C. Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph took senior status in November 2008, creating a vacancy on the appeals court. The latest vacancy was created when Judge Douglas Ginsburg announced in October that he is joining the faculty of New York University School of Law in January.