FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate’s Failure to Invoke Cloture on Halligan is Disgraceful, "Means Politics Has Trumped Qualifications and Competence for Judicial Nominees"
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — December 6, 2011 — "After more than a year of procedural roadblocks, the Senate today failed to close debate and hold an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. What happened today is disgraceful. By blocking a vote on a nominee with such exemplary qualifications and bipartisan support in the legal community, members of the Senate have put politics ahead of qualifications and competence for judicial nominees — and put justice in this country in great jeopardy.
Caitlin Halligan is an impeccably qualified nominee who would bring depth of knowledge, a demonstrated commitment to equal justice, and needed diversity to the federal bench. Her impressive resume, unassailable credentials and dedication to the rule of law have garnered her praise from legal scholars and organizations with diverse agendas and judicial philosophies. She has the kind of stellar background that has rightfully won support from those on both sides of the political aisle in the past, making it even more clear that today’s vote was driven by partisan tactics rather than merit.
At a time when judicial vacancies across the country are threatening the ability of Americans to vindicate their rights in court, the confirmations of supremely qualified nominees like Caitlin Halligan must not be delayed or denied. We urge the Senate to objectively consider all of the superb nominees who are awaiting confirmation and act quickly to put an end to the judicial crisis threatening the country."
The National Partnership for Women & Families drafted and led the fight to pass the Family & Medical Leave Act. It is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.