Republican Sen. Tom Cotton threw a wrench in Democrats’ effort to confirm Merrick Garland as attorney general this week.
Under Senate rules, a confirmation vote can be delayed for days by one senator before a final vote.
Cotton says he’s blocking the Democrats effort to expedite Garland’s confirmation because “Judge Garland has refused to answer basic questions, including whether illegally entering the country should remain a crime.”
The senator from Arkansas also said Garland’s answers on issues relating to immigration, gun sales and the death penalty were inadequate.
Dick Durbin, the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman said earlier on Wednesday that there was an objection to the effort to expedite Garland’s confirmation. He did not know which Republican was objecting, according to the Hill.
“There was an objection to expediting his nomination,” Durbin said from the Senate floor. “As a consequence, we face the Senate procedure which means it could be delays even into next week before he can take job.”
Despite the delay, Garland will be confirmed as the next Attorney General of the United States. He received overwhelming bipartisan support from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. They approved his nomination on a 15-7 vote.
To be confirmed Garland just needs 50 senators to vote in favor of his nomination. Every Democratic senator will support his bid and Mitch McConnell said last month that he plans to support Garland’s nomination to lead the Justice Department.