Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama dawdling on most Texas US Attorney appointments

Apparently the Texas delegation has sorted out its druthers regarding Texas' US Attorney nominations, and now the ball is in President Obama's court. Today he announced the nomination of Judge John B. Stevens, Jr. as the new US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

Heaven only know what's holding up the other appointments. The Austin Statesman reports that Texas' senators have signed off on House Democrats' selection for the Western District:

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said he didn't know why the White House has held up its nomination of San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, which covers 68 counties and includes Austin, San Antonio and El Paso.

"Strengthening our justice system should have a much higher priority at the White House," Doggett said. "I don't understand why the process has taken as long as it has."

The White House doesn't comment on potential or upcoming nominations.

Doggett said McCrum, who couldn't be reached, is a highly qualified candidate for the job. He's a lawyer at Thompson & Knight in San Antonio and a former chief of the major crimes unit in the San Antonio division of the U.S. attorney's office. ...

The members of the Democratic congressional delegation have been in agreement on McCrum since late last year, when they officially notified President Barack Obama about their preference.U.S. attorneys ultimately must be confirmed by the Senate, but Doggett said Texas' senators, both Republicans, support McCrum. A spokeswoman for Sen. John Cornyn confirmed the junior senator's support. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's office didn't respond.

This has gone on way too long. We're a quarter of the way through the President's term and they still don't have US Attorney nominees? There's much that needs to be done. Surely that's the kind of thing they should have been figuring out during that much-touted transition phase after the 2008 election, but here we are in 2010 still with interim USAs in three of Texas' four districts. Please, Mr. President, get on with it already.


Jim Stott said...

Grits, there was a recent story in the Huffington Post (02/27) regarding Senator Richard Shelby from Alabama holding up confirmation on almost 70 nominees for US Attorney because he wanted confirmation that some military installations would be built in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I think Grits is saying the nominations have not been put forward at all. That's surprising esp if the two Repub senators from TX are supporting the prospective nominees.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

That's correct, 6:54, we don't even have appointees to hold up yet in 3 of the 4 slots.

However, Jim is probably onto something that the hidden explanation lies in pork-driven Washington politics, we just can't clearly see how.

Anonymous said...

That's surprising esp if the two Repub senators from TX are supporting the prospective nominees.

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