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Halligan Concerns Talker 6.6.11 (Revised) (1)

Halligan Concerns Talker 6.6.11 (Revised) (1)

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Published by: Breitbart Unmasked on Aug 28, 2013
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Concerns about Caitlin Halligan, D.C. Circuit Court of AppealsConfirmation Conversion
Caitlin Halligan has a well-documented record of advocating extreme liberal positions onconstitutional issues, including in cases – some before the Supreme Court – involvingterrorism, abortion, immigration, guns, same sex marriage, the death penalty, and affirmativeaction.
Yet, remarkably, at her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she testified thatoriginal intent was the preferred method of Constitutional interpretation, rejected staunchdeath penalty opponent William Brennan’s constitutional vision, rejected the idea that judicial doctrine should “incorporate the evolving understandings of the Constitution forgedthrough social movements, legislation, and historical practice,” and rejected the notion thatempathy should play a role in a judge’s consideration of a case.
When asked in follow-up questions whether she had ever before espoused such views, sheresponded,
“I do not recall expressing an opinion on this issue in the past.”
This is notsurprising, given her liberal, activist record and her support for the nomination of now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor. 
War on Terror
Halligan’s views on the War on Terror and detention of enemy combatants are very troubling,especially given that the court she seeks to join – the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals – has acrucial role in national security cases.
In March 2004, she signed a report issued by the Association of the Bar of the City of NewYork’s Committee on Federal Courts, titled “The Indefinite Detention of ‘EnemyCombatants’: Balancing Due Process and National Security in the Context of the War onTerror.”
The report embodies the sort of left-wing extremism that the courts haverejected and that the Obama administration has had to retreat from.
The report maintains that the congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force(AUMF)
does not authorize indefinite detention of enemy combatants.
Not only hasthe Supreme Court held that it does in
 Hamdi v. Rumsfeld 
, but the Obama administrationhas argued for a broad construction of that authority, and the D.C. Circuit (the very courtHalligan seeks to join), in a series of rulings joined by judges across its ideologicalspectrum, has adopted that broad construction.
The report argues vigorously against the use of military commissions to try alienterrorists and maintains that
the preferred fora are Article III civilian courts, whereterrorists should be given the same constitutional protections afforded ordinarycriminals
– a position even the Obama administration has abandoned.
Although Halligan tried to distance herself from the report,
she nevertheless chose not toabstain from it, when four other members of the Committee did exactly that.
According to her own testimony, she never took any action to repudiate the report orits contents before her nomination or even before her hearing.
Moreover, while in private practice,
she donated her legal services
 pro bono
and co-authored an
brief in the 2009 case
 Al-Marri v. Spagone
which argued that theAUMF did not authorize the seizure and indefinite military detention, without criminal trial,of a Lawful Permanent Resident alien who allegedly conspired with Al-Qaeda to executeterror attacks on the U.S.
Al-Marri arrived in the U.S. from Qatar with his family on September 10, 2001. Heenrolled in classes at an Illinois university where he previously obtained a degree.Authorities suspected he could be involved in plotting a second wave of attacks. He wasarrested and charged with possession of stolen credit card numbers but investigatorsfound that his computer contained files on U.S. chemical plants and lectures by Osama bin Laden. He had also made several phone calls to Mustafa al-Hawasawi who wiredmoney to the 9/11 hijackers.
Al-Marri was detained as a criminal at first, then was given over to the military as anenemy combatant, and was finally transferred by the Obama administration back into thecivilian criminal system in February 2009. He pleaded guilty to material support for terrorism and other related charges, through a plea deal, was sentenced to 8 years infederal prison.
Death Penalty
As Solicitor General of New York, Halligan filed an
brief on behalf of eight states in
 Roper v. Simmons
 – a case in which New York was not even a party – arguing that state laws permitting the execution of convicted murderers who were 16 or 17 years old at the time of the crime are unconstitutional and violate the Eighth Amendment due to
“evolvingstandards of decency.”
In addition, Halligan was a member of the New York State Bar Association’s SpecialCommittee on the Civil Rights Agenda when it published a 2008 report entitled “Steps
Toward A More Inclusive New York and America,” which recommended that
“the deathpenalty should not be reinstated in New York at this time.
Second Amendment
The National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America oppose this nomination.
In a 2003 speech, Halligan commented on the then-pending Protection of Lawful Commercein Arms Act (PLCAA), which Congress passed to address nuisance lawsuits against gunmanufacturers:“If enacted, this legislation would nullify lawsuits brought by nearly 30 cities andcounties – including one filed by my office
as well as scores of lawsuits brought byindividual victims or groups harmed by gun violence . . . . Such an action would likelycut off at the pass any attempt by States to find solutions
 – through the legal system
or their own legislatures – that might reduce gun crime or promote greater responsibility among gun dealers.”
She also stated that “courts are the special friend of liberty. Time and time again we haveseen how
the dynamics of our rule of law enables enviable social progress andmobility.”
When asked in follow-up questions whether she believed there is a basis in the law for liability of gun manufacturers, Halligan deflected merely noting that:“At the time [I gave the speech], the Attorney General [of New York Eliot Spitzer] was pursuing a common law action against a number of gun manufacturers, wholesalers, andretailers. That lawsuit was dismissed on legal grounds by a New York State intermediateappellate court. In light of the New York state court’s decision, there is no basis in NewYork law for holding firearm manufactures liable for crimes in which a handgun is used.
I am not familiar with the laws of any other state or federal law, and have no basisfor an opinion regarding any such claims that might be brought in other jurisdictions
But Halligan was more than just a bystander.
She filed at least two briefs in two differentcases (one in state court and one in the Second Circuit that spanned eight years of litigation)and
her brief in the Second Circuit certainly suggests she was familiar with the laws of other states and the federal government:
In arguing that the PLCAA violates the principles of federalism, she stated: “statelegislatures across the country have addressed the alleged problem of civil liability suits

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