EDITORIAL: Detain this judicial nominee

Halligan’s Senate testimony looks fudged

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

There are disturbing discrepancies in Senate testimony by D.C. federal appellate-court nominee Caitlin Halligan. If majority Democrats won’t allow a full investigation, a Republican senator should put an indefinite hold on the nomination.

The controversy is over a 2004 New York City bar association report on enemy combatants, which concluded that indefinite detention during wartime is unconstitutional. Ms. Halligan was listed as a signatory on the document but told Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that she first “became aware of the existence of the report” last summer. Now that the report is controversial, she claims its conclusion was “incorrect,” that she was “a little bit taken aback by the tone of the report,” and that it doesn’t represent her work or views.

Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is suspicious about the timing of Ms. Halligan’s skepticism, especially since she listed this on a Judiciary Committee questionnaire among reports for which she had been “a member of the committee approving them.” Review of the e-mail trail should show what role Ms. Halligan played and “whether she agreed with the positions that she now distances herself from,” Mr. Whelan wrote for NRO.

Ms. Halligan’s legal judgment is questionable too. As solicitor general of New York state, she argued that colleges and school districts should be allowed to adopt racial criteria for admissions or school assignments and that people in same-sex-unions “must be treated as spouses for purposes of New York law.” The state’s highest court ruled against her position on the latter, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against her on three of four race cases.

The D.C. circuit has a relatively low caseload. This seat should remain unfilled until Ms. Halligan’s record is straightened out.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts