Senate Democrats’ latest attempt to break the filibuster of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit failed Wednesday morning with a vote of 51-41.
Halligan, who faces strong opposition from Republicans because of her work on a case that attempted to hold gun manufacturers liable for their products, was appointed by President Barack Obama three times to the seat.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed his vote to no so he could bring her nomination up again. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) were absent, costing the Democrats three likely votes. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted in favor of cloture, but said afterward she would have voted against Halligan for confirmation.
Obama released a statement after the vote bemoaning the filibuster, saying Halligan is qualified to sit on the bench and blaming the move on politics.
“Today’s vote continues the Republican pattern of obstruction,” Obama said. “My judicial nominees wait more than three times as long on the Senate floor to receive a vote than my predecessor’s nominees.”