In a previous post to this Blog, we noted the urgent need to fill vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee took a step in the right direction. Here is AFJ’s statement:
Alliance for Justice applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to advance 13 unquestionably qualified nominees to the Senate floor, including Caitlin Halligan’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit.
“Ms. Halligan is the personification of the phrase ‘tough, but fair,’” said AFJ President Nan Aron. “She’s a prosecutor who works to enforce the law, but at the same time, to ensure that government power is exercised fairly, and with an understanding of the impact that power has on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.”
Halligan has overseen numerous units within the Manhattan D.A.’s office, including the Conviction Integrity Program, which seeks to prevent wrongful convictions, and the Special Victims Bureau, which is composed of the Sex Crimes Unit, the Child Abuse Unit, the Domestic Violence Unit, and the Elder Abuse Unit. Her work has earned her the endorsement of the National District Attorneys Association, the National Center for Women and Policing, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and current and former district attorneys including former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthau.
Ms. Halligan also has devoted much of her professional life to serving disadvantaged families. Throughout her career, particularly during her stint in private practice, she has engaged in pro bono work and community service projects that focus on families with the greatest needs, including by serving on the Board of Directors of the Center for Law and Economic Justice and by representing victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita who were threatened with losing their housing assistance.
“Ms. Halligan’s nomination is historic,” Aron said. “If confirmed she will be only the sixth female judge in the 120-year history of the D.C. Circuit. We urge the full Senate to hold floor votes Ms. Halligan and the other nominees without delay.”
Tomorrow on this Blog, a story that illustrates why all of these judgeships are so important.