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Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks

Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandOvernight Defense: Biden officially rolls out Afghanistan withdrawal plan | Probe finds issues with DC Guard helicopter use during June protests Duckworth asks DOJ to probe 'brazenly violent' police treatment of National Guard officer Biden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives MORE's attorney general nomination is hitting GOP roadblocks that will likely delay his confirmation to lead the Justice Department until next week.

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonHillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Republican lawmakers reintroduce bill to ban TikTok on federal devices MORE (R-Ark.) — a member of the Judiciary Committee viewed as a potential 2024 contender — said on Wednesday that he is blocking an effort by Democrats to expedite Garland, whom they had hoped to confirm this week. 
 
"Democrats are trying to expedite Judge Garland’s confirmation vote. I’m blocking them because Judge Garland has refused to answer basic questions, including whether illegally entering the country should remain a crime," Cotton said in a string of tweets explaining his opposition. 

Under the Senate's rules, any one member can slow down a nomination and force Senate leadership to eat up days of time before a final vote.

Cotton pointed to a laundry list of issues where he said Garland's answers during his confirmation hearing last month had been inadequate including the death penalty, immigration and gun sales.

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Cotton's disclosure of holding up Garland's nomination comes after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers demand justice for Adam Toledo: 'His hands were up. He was unarmed' Schumer warns Democrats can't let GOP block expansive agenda Holder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ MORE (D-Ill.) said earlier Wednesday that efforts to speed up Garland's confirmation had hit a GOP objection.

"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."

Durbin told reporters early Wednesday evening that he did not know which GOP senator was objecting to Garland.

Garland is expected to be easily confirmed to lead the Justice Department, after advancing out the committee this week in a 15-7 vote.

Cotton along with GOP Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeBiden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Hillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after pushback from Klobuchar, Lee MORE (Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz no longer wearing mask in Capitol The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Democrats brace for new 'defund the police' attacks MORE (Texas), Ben SasseBen SasseToomey warns GOP colleagues to stay away from earmarks Bipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks To encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision MORE (Neb.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Republican lawmakers reintroduce bill to ban TikTok on federal devices MORE (Mo.), John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha Blackburn2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet Blackburn introduces bill to require migrant DNA testing at border Bottom line MORE (Tenn.) voted against his nomination in committee.

But Garland only needs 50 votes to be confirmed. No Democrat has said they will oppose him and he's picked up support from Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcCarthy and Biden haven't spoken since election Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE (Ky.) and Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley: Iowa can't afford to be 'babysitting' unaccompanied minors Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle On The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire MORE (Iowa).