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John M.
Republican AZ

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  • Reservation of Leader Time

    by Senator John McCain

    Posted on 2013-03-06

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    McCAIN. Mr. President, I regret that I must oppose cloture on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. During the 109th Congress, I joined 13 of my Senate colleagues to negotiate a compromise as part of an effort to avoid use of the so-called nuclear option to break an organized filibuster on judicial nominations. A tenet of that agreement was the right of ``signatories to exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith.'' Further, the agreement went on to state that ``nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.'' In keeping with the 2005 agreement, I have decided to oppose the President's nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Ms. Halligan's demonstrated record of judicial activism on issues ranging from holding firearm manufacturers liable for the crimes of third parties, to arguments regarding National Labor Relations Board authorities, to her record on the detention of enemy combatants, indicates to me that her activist record would only continue if granted the privilege of sitting on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.



    It is for these reasons and others that I believe Ms. Halligan meets the ``extraordinary circumstances'' requirement expressed in the agreement. An important constitutional responsibility of the executive branch and the U.S. Senate is to ensure that the Federal bench is able to handle its caseload expeditiously. In my view, we should only oppose cloture in extraordinary circumstances. Unfortunately, I believe this nominee meets that requirement, and my vote to oppose is consistent with the agreement made in 2005.

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