Can anyone sincerely believe that Collins' bizarre interest in pruning the judiciary meets the "extraordinary circumstances" threshold that she committed to back in 2005?
Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine joined all but one other Republican today in blocking the nomination of Caitlin Halligan for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.As with Collins' decision to block the nomination of Goodwin Liu and her vote against the confirmation of trailblazer Alison Nathan, what's involved here--other than hypocrisy--is naked partisan politics.
Collins told reporters on Capitol Hill that she voted against the former New York state solicitor general because the seat has been vacant for six years and is no longer needed because the D.C. Circuit’s case load is on the wane.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was among those pointing out that there are three vacancies currently on the D.C. Circuit, so two seats would remain vacant if Halligan is confirmed.
Snowe and Collins are part of a group of senators who have promised not to use the filibuster to block judicial nominees from receiving final Senate votes except under extraordinary circumstances.