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Democratic Failure to Reform Filibuster Lets NRA Gun Extremists Take Out Caitlin Halligan

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There are four vacancies on the D.C. Circuit court. The nomination of Sri Srinivasan, Obama’s deputy solicitor general, has not yet gotten a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In his first term, Obama did not get a single nominee onto the court. Overall, eighteen of Obama’s judicial nominees are currently awaiting confirmation. [Washington Post]

NRA AND GUN NUTS were savagely against Caitlin Halligan’s nomination, because of her work on gun manufacturer lawsuits. While Republicans also opposed her work regarding undocumented workers. All added up to “judicial activism” and a Republican “filibuster.”

This has been going on for two years with the Halligan nomination.

President Obama’s emailed statement yesterday on New York state solicitor general Caitlin Halligan withdrawing her nomination is below. There were 51 senators who supported Halligan, a majority, but Democratic failure to push filibuster reform, which lands on Senator Harry Reid’s desk, helped take her out.

Statement by the President on the Withdrawal of the Nomination of Caitlin Halligan

Today, I accepted Caitlin Halligan’s request to withdraw as a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. I am deeply disappointed that even after nearly two and a half years, a minority of Senators continued to block a simple up-or-down vote on her nomination. This unjustified filibuster obstructed the majority of Senators from expressing their support. I am confident that with Caitlin’s impressive qualifications and reputation, she would have served with distinction.

The D.C. Circuit is considered the Nation’s second-highest court, but it now has more vacancies than any other circuit court. This is unacceptable. I remain committed to filling these vacancies, to ensure equal and timely access to justice for all Americans.

FURTHER READING: Huffington Post has a devastating piece on what the collapse of the Senate has meant for others, specifically the NLRB and those impacted.

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13 Responses to Democratic Failure to Reform Filibuster Lets NRA Gun Extremists Take Out Caitlin Halligan

  1. LiberalJoe March 23, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    This is on Harry Reid and Pres Obama, they both shy away from fights contrary to the budget /fiscal/sequester tough talk.

    Harry Reid never intended to reform the filibuster, he and Pres Obama (contrary to the recent story that Pres Obama wants Dems to revisit reforming the filibuster) would have been unmasked as not trying to push “real reform” in anything if the filibuster had been reformed.

    Having the filibuster stay as it is gives Reid and every other elected official (Dems and Repubs especially Dems) including Pres Obama cover for not taking the chance that real gun control can get passed, that truly progressive judicial nominees can be placed on the Federal courts to move the judiciary leftward, that the Grand Bargin gets killed in the Senate, and real progressive legislation can be moved forward moving the debate leftward, Cordray ever gets confirmed(real wall street reform is a pipe dream that most Dems want to keep alive to fool the public) and so on. Pick an issue.

    If Pres Obama and Reid really wanted to reform the filibuster to allow for nominees to get appointed they would have fought to get it done. These guys are a combination of political cowards and disingenuous frauds. For all of Pres Obama’s and Reid’s talk about Republican obstructionism you would have thought this is new news and developments-what bs. I guess they were both in coma’s these past 5yrs. Republicans are doing what Republicans do , it is up to the Dems to get the job done and if it means playing hardball with the filibuster -then that is what needs to be done. I put the blame squarely on the Dems especially Reid and Pres Obama-not the repubs Fight for what you say you want or STFU!

  2. Joyce Arnold March 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    DC Electeds are generally bipartisan in their desire to do nothing that would seriously disturb the status quo’d systems that work so well for them in their candidate / governing / wherever the revolving door takes them roles. And, generally, the Electorate, in our “where else can we go?” role, help perpetuate the whole thing.

  3. fangio March 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Harry Reid, who caved on reforming the filibuster is the poster child for the decay of the democratic party in this country. For all those so called progressives who taunted third party voters with the harangue that we were throwing our vote away, well, it now appears that you have thrown your vote away as well. You have actually voted for one monolithic party that moves in lock step with corporate america and will continue to decimate this country and it’s people while they fill their pockets with what would have been our future wealth. It is fitting that this is the ten year anniversary of the Iraq fiasco, for it was Iraq that was the final nail in this country’s coffin. ” The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period. ” – Oriana Fallaci.

  4. Ramsgate March 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Great post Taylor. Reid is useless. But where are “the women”? Why aren’t they leaning in?

    • Taylor Marsh March 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      If Senator Diane Feinstein leaned any further in on guns she’d be standing on her face.

      On filibuster, Reid controls it.

      • Ramsgate March 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

        True about Feinstein and guns.
        A few days ago, I posted the following, on another topic, I’ll repost it here since I feel it also applies:

        A few months ago there was all this hoopla about all these new women in the US senate – the most ever, 20 – and what a difference this milestone was supposed to make. Well, maybe I’m an impatient fella but I’m still waiting to see/hear/feel the difference or effects. The ONLY woman of the twenty who I’ve heard from and who has shown that she has the potential to get things done/changed and maybe get results to change the lives of working people is Elizabeth Warren. Patty Murray also deserves much credit. Other than that, as far as I’m concerned it still appears to me that although the Democrats are in the majority the Republicans run the senate.

        The senators I hear about, constantly read about, the ones who seem to make policy and who seem to make their presence felt are: Rubio, Cruz, Rand Paul, Graham, McConnell, McCain & Reid (always on defense & disappointed about something).The Democrats may be Committee Chairmen and Chairwomen etc, but those are the authority figures in the senate. They are the people who seem to run the place, not the Democrats.

        In spite of the increased female presence one would think there’d be more influence, more authority and as a group they’d “lean in” more, but it appears that in the senate for Democrats, (and maybe more so for Democratic women) it’s better to be seen and not heard. And so, nothing has changed, although women are now none-fifth of the body. Obama’s appointments are still being filibustered left and right, the assault weapons ban died a sudden and ignoble death without so much as a march on the leader’s office by these women causing my hometown paper to scream: GUTLESS COWARDS. Who would have thought? Some people thought that more women would change the dynamic – would even humanize the place. How bloody wrong we were.

        • nemo52 March 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

          Kristin Gillibrand is good. She leans in.

          • Taylor Marsh March 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

            LOVE seeing “lean in” here in the comments. Just LOVE it.

            Gillibrand is a tough cookie and we’re lucky to have her in the Senate, agreed.

          • Ramsgate March 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

            Gillibrand is my senator. Love having them ALL in the senate. All twenty. Wish there were more. Some of you may know by now that I’m a RESULTS person.

            Like I said, besides Warren, what have they done/shown lately? Warren is prepared to rock the boat. She is therefore labeled as “polarizing” by the so-called “serious” people inside the beltway.

            The others — Gillibrand etc — they play it safe. Very safe. Seen but not REALLY heard. Think about it, if Feinstein were not so grossly and publicly insulted by Cruz, chances are we would NEVER have heard from her.

            So again I ask, all these women, so what? What difference are they making? Doesn’t seem like much to me? The assault weapons ban is where they should have made their presence felt. IMHO.

  5. PeggySue March 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Reid squashed the attempt at real filibuster reform and frankly his weak threats to reinstitute the reform energy now whenever the Republicans stall and obfuscate is laughable. Too many of these congress people have absolutely no respect for the American electorate. They apparently have decided no one is paying attention, so why even pretend anything approaching governance. They’re just going through the motions, saluting their corporate financiers and giving lip-service to everything else. I find the whole charade disgusting.

  6. Ramsgate March 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    It is astonishing to me that Reid is happy, comfortable and secure in his job. No one (but voices outside the senate) seem to blame him for anything, and there is never any talk or threat of a coup. From time to time, Boehner is threatened, but never Harry Reid.

    The more tragic and pathetic Reid becomes the more secure his hold on power — the more loyalty he seems to accrue from the Democrats.

    • Cujo359 March 24, 2013 at 5:09 am #

      From time to time, Boehner is threatened, but never Harry Reid.

      The reasons those two assertions are true is why conservatives get what they want and progressives don’t.

      • LiberalJoe March 24, 2013 at 8:26 am #

        your as right as rain Cujo. Until progressives in both Houses of Congress stop being dormat’s they will get nothing.

        Liberal Dems in the base need to take at least the following two roads. – primary existing progressive/liberal Dems in Congress with other progressives to send a message that the incumbents are toothless, and primary “new Dems” those quasi progressives and Blue Dogs with eal progressives. Both two options are needed to change the dynamic. Sitting out elections should not be an option.

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