Whatever happened to that “Gang of 14” agreement on judicial nominations? “Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked confirmation of Caitlin J. Halligan, a prominent New York lawyer, to be a federal appeals court judge, raising the question of whether a political deal to prevent the filibuster of most judicial nominations has broken down,” the New York Times says.
“Democrats argued Tuesday that Ms. Halligan should not be seen as meeting a standard of “extraordinary circumstances” that would justify a filibuster. Mr. Schumer said that her defeat ‘could throw into chaos nominations at the Circuit Court for a long time.’ Of the seven Republican senators who were part of the Gang of 14, four — John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine — are still serving. All voted against allowing a vote on Ms. Halligan. Mr. Obama, who was a senator from 2005 through 2008, was not one of the Democrats in the Gang of 14; he voted to filibuster several of Mr. Bush’s nominees.”