Apparently it’s Texas Senators’ day to shine. John Cornyn, the elder statesmen (!!!) of Texas’ upper chamber representation, threw a tantrum Thursday over the judicial nominations he himself has been holding up:
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) ranted Thursday that President Barack Obama hasn’t put forward judicial nominees for vacancies in Texas, some open and without a nominee for more than 1,000 days. But he got schooled by his Democratic colleagues, who reminded him he’s responsible for recommending nominees to the White House in the first place — something he hasn’t done for years.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Cornyn was arguing for more immigration judge slots in Texas when he got called out by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) for gumming up the district court nomination process. Immigration judges are different from district court judges, but Whitehouse questioned why the Senate should add more immigration judgeships in Texas if Cornyn isn’t trying to fill empty district court slots there.
[snip] That’s when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) stepped in to remind Cornyn what he already knows: that if he wants to see movement on district court nominees, he needs to make recommendations to the president.
“Based on 38 years experience here, every judgeship I’ve seen come through this committee during that time has followed recommendations by the senators from the state,” Leahy said.
Ted Cruz, the junior member from the Lone Star state, has been using his rookieness to excuse his impertinence to senior senators, but suddenly it was his first day:
Cruz tried to absolve himself of the matter altogether, saying he just got to the Senate in January.
“Although it might feel like it, at least for me, I haven’t been here anywhere nearly close to 1,000 days,” Cruz said.
In the end, lessons were learned:
Cornyn said Thursday that he’d met with White House officials on the matter and told them he is “happy to work with them” to review nominees and fill some of the vacancies. He didn’t have much response, though, when Leahy asked if the commission has made any recommendations yet.
“Well it’s uh, we’re working on that,” Cornyn said. “What is this, May? And we’re trying to, we’re trying — we’re working on that.”
“I would be happy to help you,” replied Leahy.