Former New York Solicitor General Caitlin Halligan, now general counsel to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, will get yet another shot at a federal judgeship as President Barack Obama renominated her on Jan. 3 for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Halligan’s name was among 33 resubmitted by Obama to the new Congress. All his pending nominations had died when the 112nd Congress ended.
Obama has nominated Halligin twice before, only to have her candidacy blocked each time by Senate Republicans. She has been rated well qualified by the American Bar Association but raised the ire of gun-rights advocates when as solicitor general she brought suit against gun manufacturers on a public nuisance theory.
Obama also has resubmitted the nominations of Valerie Caproni, Katherine Polk Failla, Nelson Roman and Analisa Torres for Southern District judgeships and Pamela Ki Mai Chen in the Eastern District. The president has not made nominations for an additional vacancy in the Southern District and an opening in the Western District.
Obama said in a statement that all of his nominees should have been given up or down votes before the prior Congress adjourned. “Several have been awaiting a vote for more than six months, even though they all enjoy bipartisan support,” he said. “…I urge the Senate to consider and confirm these nominees without delay, so all Americans can have equal and timely access to justice.”
If confirmed, Halligan would fill the position on the D.C. circuit vacated in 2005 when Chief Justice John Roberts moved up to the U.S. Supreme Court.