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Halligan Out of Running for D.C. Circuit Vacancy

By Robyn Hagan Cain on March 22, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Caitlin Halligan won’t be leaving her job as general counsel for the Manhattan district attorney’s office quite yet.

After two-and-a-half years and two filibusters in nomination limbo, Halligan asked President Obama to withdraw her nomination for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, The Washington Post reports.

In a brief letter to the President, she wrote, "I am deeply grateful to you for your confidence in me, and your steadfast support of my nomination. After much reflection, I believe that the time has come for me to respectfully ask that you withdraw my pending nomination from further consideration by the United States Senate."

Originally nominated in 2011, the president had selected Halligan to fill the vacancy left by Chief Justice John Roberts.

President Obama expressed his frustration with the filibuster in a statement on Friday.

I am deeply disappointed that even after nearly two and a half years, a minority of Senators continued to block a simple up-or-down vote on her nomination. This unjustified filibuster obstructed the majority of Senators from expressing their support. I am confident that with Caitlin's impressive qualifications and reputation, she would have served with distinction.

In addition to leaving an eight-year vacancy unfilled, Halligan's decision to remove her name from consideration for the bench draws further attention to the partisan standstill that has thwarted Obama's attempts to fill any seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. After more than four years in office, the Senate has yet to approve one of the president's nominees for the circuit known as the nation's "second-highest court."

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