Obama Tries to Extend Extremist Legacy with his Radical Judicial Nominations

Barack Obama, a probable one-term president, is doing everything he can to extend his socialist legacy by continuing to put on the federal judiciary some of the most radical left-wing  --  to be kind in some cases  --  judges on the federal bench in American history.
 
One of the left-wing idealogues who Obama is attempting to put on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals is someone named Caitlin J. Halligan.  Based on this extremist's actions and her statements, Halligan despises the rights given to Americans by the Second Amendment.  She has tried to bankrupt gun manufacturers through frivolous litigation.  Halligan's terrorist-coddling statements reveal what kind of judge she would be on the appeals court.  Halligan wants military commissions minimized and she wants terrorists tried in the federal court system. 
 
The Senate Republican Policy Committee said this about Halligan: "Ms. Halligan’s well-documented record as a committed advocate of extreme liberal positions raises questions about whether she would be a fair and impartial jurist.  These concerns are compounded by the fact that Ms. Halligan has been nominated to one of the most important courts in the United States."
 
Republican Senators must not let this left-wing extremist, Caitlin J. Halligan, get a vote on the Senate floor. Some other information about Halligan comes from the Senate Republican Communications Center directly below and from Senator John Thune's Senate Republican Policy Committee below that:

Halligan’s Controversial Record

Caitlin Halligan Has Activist Views On The Second Amendment And The War On Terror

 

Controversial Views On The 2nd Amendment

 

Halligan, Eliot Spitzer Pushed Radical Legal Theory Deemed ‘Legally Inappropriate’ By Court

 

THE POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL: “In a battle between gun manufacturers and the attorney general, a decision recently handed down by the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court blew Spitzer away… Simply stated, they believe that Spitzer's intent is to put the gun companies out of business. If a manufacturer -- any manufacturer -- is held financially responsible for how their product is used, whether by a criminal or someone who is just plain inept, the cost of all products will go through the roof.” (“Lawsuits Continue To Threaten Gun Manufacturers And Owners,” The Poughkeepsie Journal, 7/31/03)

 

NY COURT OF APPEALS: “Plaintiff's complaint, as pertinent here, claims that illegally possessed handguns are a common-law public nuisance…” (People Of The State Of New York v. Sturm & Ruger Co., 309 A.D.2d 91, 2003)

 

·         NY COURT OF APPEALS: “The New York Court of Appeals has never recognized a common-law public nuisance cause of action based on allegations like those in this complaint. Moreover, other jurisdictions have dismissed public nuisance claims against firearms manufacturers on similar or other grounds… In light of the foregoing, we believe it is legally inappropriate, impractical and unrealistic to mandate that defendants undertake, and the courts enforce, unspecified measures urged by plaintiff in order to abate the conceded availability and criminal use of illegal handguns.” (People Of The State Of New York v. Sturm & Ruger Co., 309 A.D.2d 91, 2003)

 

·         “Eliot Spitzer, of counsel (Caitlin J. Halligan, Beth L. Golden, Peter B. Pope, Hillary Weisman and Sachin S. Pandya, on the brief, Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General of the State of New York, attorney) for plaintiffs-appellants.” (People Of The State Of New York v. Sturm & Ruger Co., 309 A.D.2d 91, 2003)

 

After State Court Rejected Her Radical Legal Theory, Halligan Attacked Bipartisan Congressional Legislation Protecting 2nd Amendment Rights 

 

NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: “Our opposition is based on Ms. Halligan's attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.” (National Rifle Association, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11) 

 

·         “…she worked to undermine the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), enacted in 2005 with strong bipartisan support. This legislation was critically important in ending a wave of lawsuits sponsored by anti-gun organizations and governments, which sought to blame firearms manufacturers and dealers for the criminal misuse of their products by third parties.” (National Rifle Association, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11)

 

·         “After passage of the PLCAA, Ms. Halligan participated in the legal attack on the PLCAA. The state filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit supporting New York City's attack on the law's constitutionality. The arguments in that brief were ultimately rejected by the Second Circuit, as they have been by every other appellate court (and every federal court at any level) that has considered the issue.” (National Rifle Association, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11)

 

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was supported by 9 Current Senate Dems:

Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Harry Reid (D-NV), & Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). (S. 397, Roll Call Vote # 219: Adopted 65-31: R 50-2; D 14-29; I 1-0; 7/29/05)

 

GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: “On behalf of over 300,000 members of Gun Owners of America, I am writing you to express our unequivocal opposition to the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.” (Gun Owners Of America, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11) 

 

·         “Given Halligan’s admitted involvement in New York’s legally specious, politically motivated efforts to bankrupt gun manufacturers through frivolous litigation, Halligan has proven to us that she placed liberal political activism above fealty to the law. It is inconceivable to us that such a partisan could be seriously considered…” (Gun Owners Of America, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11)

 

·         “Certainly, no other manufacturer could be held liable for the criminal misuse of its product. And, as Halligan well knows, the application of that principle to firearms would surely eliminate the manufacture of firearms in America. It is significant that a Washington-based anti-gun group openly took credit for coordinating anti-gun suits such as Halligan’s.” (Gun Owners Of America, Letter To Congress, 3/9/11)

 

Controversial Views On Terrorism

 

Halligan: Federal Courts ‘Should Be The Preferred Forum For Future Terrorism Cases’

 

CAITLIN HALLIGAN Signed Report: “[C]riminal prosecutions in the federal courts … should be the preferred forum for future terrorism cases.” “…use of military commissions should be minimized because of the several advantages offered by criminal prosecutions in the federal courts… They should be the preferred forum for future terrorism cases.” (“The Indefinite Detention Of ‘Enemy Combatants’: Balancing Due Process And National Security In The Context Of The War On Terror,” The Association Of The Bar Of The City Of New York, Committee On Federal Courts, P.7, 2/6/04) 

 

Amicus Brief For Al Qaeda Terrorist Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, Ignored Supreme Court Ruling 

 

CBS/AP: “Ali al-Marri, 43, admitted to one count of conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization… Al-Marri admitted he trained in al Qaeda camps and stayed in al Qaeda safe houses in Pakistan between 1998 and 2001, where he learned how to handle weapons and how to communicate by phone and e-mail using a code. He also admitted meeting and having regular contact with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and with Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, who allegedly helped the Sept. 11 hijackers with money and Western-style clothing.” (“Terror Suspect Al-Marri Pleads Guilty,” The Associated Press/CBS News, 5/1/09)

 

HALLIGAN BRIEF: “The government has detained petitioner Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, without criminal process, for more than seven years and it asserts a power to continue his detention indefinitely… Thus, if al-Marri’s confinement is lawful, it must be sustained as a civil detention — a narrow category of confinement that may be imposed without criminal process.” (Brief For Constitutional, Criminal Procedure, And Other Legal Scholars As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, Petitioner, v. Commander Daniel Spagone, U.S.N., Consolidated Naval Brig, P.1)

 

·         “Without explicit statutory directives, judicial review of this issue would be frustrated. In this respect as well, the government’s claim that the AUMF implicitly authorized the indefinite confinement of al-Marri is not in accord in with this Court’s precedents concerning civil detention.” (Brief For Constitutional, Criminal Procedure, And Other Legal Scholars As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, Petitioner, v. Commander Daniel Spagone, U.S.N., Consolidated Naval Brig, P.21)

 

Attorneys For Amici Curiae: Caitlin J. Halligan, Gregory Silbert, Arthur C. D’Andrea, Michael Winn, Maria Vittoria G. Carminati, Michael N. Kourabas (Brief For Constitutional, Criminal Procedure, And Other Legal Scholars As Amici Curiae In Support Of Petitioner, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, Petitioner, v. Commander Daniel Spagone, U.S.N., Consolidated Naval Brig)

 

 Caitlin Halligan: An Injudicious Choice 

The Senate confirmed 15 of President Obama’s judicial nominees last month as a result of Republicans’ willingness to work with Democrats on consensus nominations.  Senators must fulfill their duty to carefully evaluate all nominees, particularly when controversial or unsuitable. This is the case with the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which received a party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.1

Ms. Halligan’s well-documented record as a committed advocate of extreme liberal positions raises questions about whether she would be a fair and impartial jurist.  These concerns are compounded by the fact that Ms. Halligan has been nominated to one of the most important courts in the United States. 


Targeting the Second Amendment

As Solicitor General of New York, Ms. Halligan vigorously advanced a specious legal theory attempting to hold gun manufacturers liable for the crimes of third parties.2

Gun Owners of America described this as a strategy to “eliminate the manufacture of firearms in America.”3

Despite the fact that New York law, as the appellate court explained, had “never recognized a common-law public nuisance cause of action”advanced by Ms. Halligan,4 she mounted a crusade to hold the gun industry responsible for the “easy availability of illegal guns.”5

The New York state court rejected Ms. Halligan’s call to judicial activism.6

In 2003, a bipartisan coalition in Congress responded to the type of frivolous litigation pushed by Ms. Halligan by introducing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).  Ms. Halligan, in turn, sharply criticized this legislation,7 which Congress ultimately enacted with wide support.8


The National Rifle Association described PLCAA as “an essential protection both for the Second Amendment rights of honest Americans and for the continued existence of the domestic firearms industry.”9

Undeterred, Ms. Halligan filed an amicus brief in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the PLCAA.10  The Second Circuit, in rejecting Ms. Halligan’s argument, held that PLCAA was constitutional and dismissed the litigation against gun manufacturers.11

Detention of Enemy Combatants
In 2004, Ms. Halligan was a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Committee on Federal Courts when it issued a report asserting that the congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) did not authorize long-term detention of enemy combatants.12

The report also argued against the use of military commissions to try alien terrorists and maintained that the preferred for are Article III civilian courts. Subsequent holdings by the Supreme Court and positions of the Obama administration, however, rejected the fundamental assertions of the report.13
 

Ms. Halligan tried to distance herself from the report when she came before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  However, at the time the report was being considered by the Committee on Federal Courts she did not abstain from it, as four other committee members did.14

Furthermore, Ms. Halligan did not repudiate the report or its left-wing extremism before her nomination or before her hearing.

Ms. Halligan also co-authored an amicus brief in the 2009 case Al-Marri v. Spagone arguing that the AUMF did not authorize the seizure and long-term military detention, without criminal trial, of a lawful permanent resident alien.15

Ms. Halligan’s position was contrary to the clear Supreme Court holding in Hamdi that the detention of enemy combatants without the prospect of criminal charges or trial until the end of hostilities is proper under the AUMF and the Constitution.16
 

Judicial Activism
Ms. Halligan has spoken approvingly of using courts to promote liberal ambitions – a fact that suggests she would be an unconstrained activist if confirmed.  In a speech in 2003, Ms. Halligan stated that “courts are the special friend of liberty.  Time and time again we have seen how the dynamics of our rule of law enables enviable social progress and mobility.”17

This view of the law is inconsistent with the important but limited role of a judge: applying the law to the facts, not ensuring that his or her own aspirations for society are met.  In Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, Ms. Halligan filed an amicus brief arguing for an expansive definition of extortion under the Hobbs Act, which would have allowed for a cause of action against pro-life protestors.  The Supreme Court rejected her position 8-1.18

Presidents may choose whomever they please for most political appointments.  However, the special role of federal judges as unbiased umpires protecting the rule of law requires that nominees for the bench meet a different standard.  Ms. Halligan fails to meet that standard.

1 Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Meeting on March 10, 2011.
2 People of the State of New York v. Sturm & Ruger Co., 309 A.D.2d 91 (2003)
3 Gun Owners of America, letter dated March 9, 2011.  See,
http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/goa-opposition-letter.pdf

4 Sturm, 309 A.D.2d at 94. 
5 Law Day Speech by Caitlin Halligan, delivered May 5, 2003, in White Plains, New York.
6 Sturm, 309 A.D.2d at 93-94.
7 See Footnote 4, supra.
8 PLCAA passed the Senate with nearly half of the Democrat Caucus voting in favor of the legislation. See,
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00219

9 National Rifle Association, letter dated March 9, 2011.  See,  http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/nra-opposition-letter.pdf
10 City of New York v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., 524 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2008)(Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General of the State of New York, Caitlin J. Halligan, Solicitor General,), Albany, NY, for Amicus Curiae New York State Attorney General.
11 See generally, Id.
12 “The indefinite detention of “enemy combatants: Balancing due process and national security in the context of the war on terror,” The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on Federal Courts, February 6, 2004,
http://www.abcny.org/pdf/1C_WL06!.pdf

13 See, e.g. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507(2004); U.S. Prepares to Life Ban on Guantanamo Cases, NY Times, January 19, 2011.
14 Correspondence from Caitlin Halligan to the Senate Judiciary Committee, February 22, 2011.  Notes of the Committee:
http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/112thCongressJudicialNominations/upload/CaitlinHalligan-QFRs.pdf

15 See, Brief for Constitutional, Criminal Procedure and other Legal Scholars as Amici Curae in case number 08-368, Al-Marri
v. Spagone.  Available at:
http://goo.gl/fodjs

16 Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507(2004).
17 See Footnote 4, supra.
18 Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, 537 U.S. 393 (2003)