Senator Tom Cotton reveals he is delaying Merrick Garland’s confirmation vote

Top line

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) Said on Wednesday he was delaying Merrick Garland’s confirmation to Attorney General of his responses to written questions, the second delay Garland has faced in an appointment that should nonetheless pass easily.


Cotton tweeted he was blocking Garland because he “refused to answer basic questions,” including illegal immigration.

Cotton raised questions about whether Garland would support the hypothetical deportations of illegal immigrants who are gang members or who commit assaults, to which Garland noted such decisions are made by immigration courts and added : “I have not studied these laws.”

Cotton also noted equally elusive responses to questions about capital punishment, gun control and President Joe Biden’s “fairness” executive order.

Cotton’s attempt to block Garland’s appointment – which will likely delay it by about a week – comes after Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), as outgoing chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, retained his hearings on the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) In previous remarks in the Senate, had said: “I sincerely hope that whoever holds up his nomination on the other side can be persuaded to give him a chance.”

Key context

This isn’t the first time Garland has seen a nomination blocked by Senate Republicans. He was even denied a hearing in 2016 after then-President Barack Obama appointed him to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Large number

4. That’s the number of Senate Republicans who joined Democrats in removing Garland from the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Graham.

What to watch out for

Garland is set to be confirmed by a large two-party majority, with Graham, Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) all signaling their support.

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