The Washington Times - March 22, 2013, 03:44PM

President Obama Friday withdrew the nomination of Caitlin Halligan, two weeks after Senate Republicans used a filibuster to block her from becoming a federal appeals court judge.

It was the second time in two years that the GOP had blocked her nomination. Many Republicans opposed her for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit because of what they said was her history of legal activism as solicitor general of New York state, where she advocated that gun manufacturers be held legally responsible for crimes committed with their guns.

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The fight over her nomination to one of the nation’s most influential courts provoked sharp partisan clashes.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said Ms. Halligan is “amongst the most qualified judicial nominees I have seen from any administration.”

“It is a shame that narrow, special interests hold such influence that Senate Republicans for two years blocked an up-or-down vote on her confirmation,” Mr. Leahy said.