Obama criticizes GOP obstruction of D.C. appellate court nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is criticizing Senate Republicans for blocking his federal appeals court nominee who has been waiting two and a half years for a vote.

Obama said he's "deeply disappointed" after the Republicans held up a confirmation vote for Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Wednesday. The Republicans say she's too liberal and cite her work on lawsuits against gun makers as solicitor general for New York.

Obama says the blocking of Halligan from getting an up-or-down vote "continues the Republican pattern of obstruction." He said delays in confirming his nominees are taking a heavy toll on the D.C. circuit, often considered the nation's second-highest court since it hears so many appeals of federal government actions.