GOP Senator Vows to Slow Down Merrick Garland’s Confirmation
(Bloomberg) -- Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland will have to wait a little longer to be confirmed after a Republican senator said he would refuse to expedite a final confirmation vote.
Garland has enough bipartisan support to be confirmed, but Tom Cotton, the junior senator from Arkansas and a potential candidate for president in 2024, complained in a series of tweets about how Garland answered questions about immigration, the death penalty and racial equity.
“Ensuring the Senate has time to debate these issues and get answers is the same thing that Senate Democrats did for Bill Barr,” Cotton said, referring to President Donald Trump’s second attorney general. “We’re not going to have one standard for Trump’s nominees and another for Biden’s.”
Cotton’s objection will likely require Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to cut off debate, delaying a confirmation vote by several days.
Cotton wants Garland to answer questions about deportation laws, whether entering the country illegally should be a crime, if the president has the authority to ban certain semi-automatic guns and whether President Joe Biden’s executive order on equity “directs the government to treat some Americans differently from others based on the color of their skin.” Cotton also asked about the cases of inmates who are on death row.
Garland didn’t give complete answers to these questions for the record, saying those issues required more study.
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