People For the American Way

GOP Talking Points Against Caitlin Halligan Are Off to a Bad Start

The Senate Republican Policy Committee has released the party's official talking points to justify their leadership's decision to filibuster Caitlin Halligan's nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

You know you're in store for a treat when the very first sentence is blatantly false:

Last Congress, the Senate expressed its will and rejected the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

In fact, exactly the opposite happened: The Senate was prevented from "expressing its will" by a minority of senators who filibustered Halligan's nomination. A majority of senators – 54 – voted to end the filibuster, but a minority of 45 senators, all Republicans, voted to prevent the Senate from being able to cast a yes-or-no vote on the nomination. In other words, the Senate was gagged and not allowed to "express its will." Had it been allowed to vote, Halligan would have been on the bench for more than a year now.

Things don't get much better with the second paragraph, which approvingly cites Gun Owners of America's criticism of a legal argument Halligan once made as an advocate for her client, the State of New York:

Gun Owners of America described this as a strategy to "eliminate the manufacture of firearms in America."

GOA is hardly an organization that a major political party should be citing with approval. As Right Wing Watch has reported:

But the GOA's extreme language [about Halligan] should come as no surprise. After all, this is the same group that speculated that the Aurora movie theater shooting was an inside job, said that armed citizens could have stopped the Holocaust, claimed that the Affordable Care Act would "take away your guns," and warned President Obama that he should "remember King George III's experience." Recently, GOA president Larry Pratt has gone even further, agreeing with theories that President Obama is raising a black army to massacre white Americans and that the president intends to pit "Christian, heterosexual white haves" against "black Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots."

This is the group that Senate Republicans want to listen to on staffing America's courts?

With two opening paragraphs like these talking points have, you know you need to take the rest of the document with more than a grain of salt.


Caitlin Halligan, D.C. Circuit, Filibuster, Gun Owners of America, judges, judicial nominations, Larry Pratt, Lower Federal Courts, Obstruction, Obstructionism, Senate Republican Policy Committee