GOP Filibusters Halligan Court Nomination, Sen. Schumer Warns Of 'Chaos'

By Eric Scheiner | December 6, 2011 | 4:25 PM EST

( -Senate Republicans filibustered the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, today and are now risking “chaos” according to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

On the Senate floor, Schumer recalled a move in 2005 when a bipartisan “Gang of 14” senators came to an agreement aimed at preventing filibusters of judicial nominees except under extraordinary circumstances.

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“It seems to me that a vote against this nominee is a vote that declares the Gang of 14 agreement null and void,” Schumer said.

“If Republicans are going to suddenly junk that 6 year armistice it could risk throwing the senate into chaos on judicial nominees.”

Later Schumer added, “The defeat of Caitlin Halligan would throw into chaos nominations at the circuit court into chaos for a long, long time.”

Tuesday’s roll call vote on cutting off debate was 54 to 45, six short of the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.

Halligan faced criticism from some Republicans for her past record on gun rights and pro-choice issues.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed his reservations on Halligan, a former New York state solicitor general.

“Ms. Halligan’s record strongly suggests that she wouldn’t view a seat on the U.S. appeals court as an opportunity to adjudicate, even-handedly, disputes between parties based on the law, but instead as an opportunity to put her thumb on the scale in favor of whatever individual or group or cause she happens to believe in,” McConnell said.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for