Obama re-nominates NY lawyer to top federal appeals court seat
President Obama renominated Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seen by many as a professional stepping stone to the Supreme Court.
June 11th, 2012
02:52 PM ET

Obama re-nominates NY lawyer to top federal appeals court seat

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a move sure to please the political left, President Obama on Monday re-nominated a New York lawyer to a prestigious seat on a federal appeals court, ensuring an election-year fight with Republicans over judges.

Caitlin Halligan was one of two nominees named by the President to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seen by many as a professional stepping stone to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Clarence Thomas also served on that court prior to their appointment to their current jobs. Halligan is currently general counsel for the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan, New York

"This important court is often called the nations second-highest court, and it stands more than a quarter vacant," said Mr. Obama. "I remain deeply disappointed that a minority of the United States Senate blocked Ms. Halligan's nomination last year and urge her reconsideration, especially given her broad bipartisan support from the legal and law enforcement communities."

In a rare move, Senate Republicans in December voted to block the 45-year-old Ohio native, complaining she was too liberal and would be an activist on the bench.

The largely party-line vote was 54 to 45, falling shy of the required 60-vote threshold that would have ended the cloture stalemate and allow a final vote on the nomination itself.

The nomination was closely watched because the DC Circuit considers so many federal cases that often end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The was no immediate reaction to the re-nomination from Senate Republicans, and no indication when confirmation hearings would be held. The election year would complicate such a Judiciary Cmte. review, given its compressed schedule, and past partisan disagreement over Halligan, likely to spill over into reconsideration of her qualifications for the bench. FULL POST

President Obama: Overturning Individual Mandate Would be "Unprecedented, Extraordinary Step"
President Obama (center) holds a press conference in the Rose Garden with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (right) and Mexican President Felipe Calderon (left).
April 2nd, 2012
03:55 PM ET

President Obama: Overturning Individual Mandate Would be "Unprecedented, Extraordinary Step"

President Obama’s day of international diplomacy was interrupted Monday when a reporter from Bloomberg asked him a question on domestic politics, inciting a strong defense of the president's signature health care reform legislation.

Standing with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon during a press conference in the Rose Garden, Obama was asked about the possibility that the individual mandate could be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

He responded by saying that he was confident the court would not take the “unprecedented, extraordinary step” of deeming the bill unconstitutional. He then pointed to the popular conservative talking point about the dangers of judicial activism, contending that if the Supreme Court threw out the mandate they would be circumventing the legislative process.

“I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,” Obama said. “Well, this is a good example. And I'm pretty confident that this - this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

Here’s the president’s full answer: FULL POST

January 3rd, 2011
01:50 PM ET

Malveaux Meets Malveaux

In our continuing series "Malveaux Meets," Suzanne interviews her doppelganger and twin, Suzette, to talk SCOTUS.  Take a look at the Malveaux sisters as they discuss some of the most significant cases in 2010, what really happens behind closed doors, as well as Suzette's take on what kind of 'resolutions' the court should make for 2011.