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GOP Blocks Confirmation of Halligan to DC Circuit; Is Filibuster Deal Off?

Posted Dec 7, 2011 9:37 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Senate Republicans have blocked a vote on a lawyer nominated to fill the judgeship vacated by John G. Roberts Jr. when he became chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Democrats were unable to gain enough votes to limit debate on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, effectively blocking her nomination, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, the Associated Press and the New York Times.

According to the Times, the vote “raise[es] the question of whether a political deal to prevent the filibuster of most judicial nominations has broken down.”

Halligan was New York State solicitor general before becoming general counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Republicans said Halligan had a social agenda and criticized her for her role in litigation seeking to hold gun makers liable for crimes committed with handguns. The AP story attributes the failure to limit debate partly to "payback for the Democrats’ past opposition to Republican nominees."

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