Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks

Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBiden administration moves to withdraw death penalty requests in seven cases Federal gun trafficking strike forces launched in five cities Garland restricting DOJ contact with White House officials 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 CottonEx-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Republicans raise concerns about Olympians using digital yuan during Beijing Games 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 DurbinSchumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform 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's misinformation crackdown spotlights partisan divide on content reform Lawmakers unveil measure increasing Congress's control of war authorizations GOP senators invite Yellen to brief them on debt ceiling expiration, inflation MORE (Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis US, Germany reach deal on controversial Russian pipeline State, Dems call out Cruz over holds ahead of key Russian talks MORE (Texas), Ben SasseBen SasseSasse calls China's Xi a 'coward' after Apple Daily arrest Defunct newspaper's senior editor arrested in Hong Kong Murkowski: Trump has 'threatened to do a lot' to those who stand up to him MORE (Neb.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyCompetition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis MORE (Mo.), John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnBiden's misinformation crackdown spotlights partisan divide on content reform White House looks to cool battle with Facebook Republicans raise concerns about Olympians using digital yuan during Beijing Games 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 McConnellS.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Business groups urge lawmakers to stick with bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (Ky.) and Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyEx-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Senate committee to hold hearing following FBI watchdog's report on Nassar case MORE (Iowa).