Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Obstructionist Tom Cotton: Speech light on Trump references

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 7:13 AM

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As I mentioned last night — and as Charles Pierce mentioned earlier Monday in covering Sen. Tom Cotton's speech to the South Carolina delegation — our junior senator avoids mentioning the name Donald Trump.

Here's the text of his prime time speech to the Republican National Convention. He made one bare reference to Trump, but not his full name as he called for a stronger defense:

In a Trump-Pence administration and with a Republican Congress, help is on the way.
Cotton has long been mostly about Cotton. And some aspects of the me-first senator continue to draw unflattering attention, particularly his refusal to get along with others in the Senate, including many in his own party.

A legal website, Law360, wrote this week about Cotton's continuing obstruction of judicial appointments, particularly to the federal court of claims. The article demolishes Cotton's pretexts for refusing to fill seats on the important court and again raises an implication that he might be serving the special interest of a former law firm in doing so. Whatever the reason for Cotton's obstructionism, a court with a rising caseload isn't getting the help it needs. Tom Cotton stands in the way, despite multiple approvals of bipartisan-approved nominees for vacancies.

"The ability of the court to decide cases is being inexcusably harmed by Sen. Cotton's failure to do his job," said Glenn Sugameli, founder of Judging the Environment and a senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife. "There's an advise and consent duty."

A prominent example of the problems the court faces without a full bench came in Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams' comments at an October scheduling conference, in a case filed by the Jicarilla Apache Nation, according to Sugameli.

While noting she could possibly hand trial off to another judge, Judge Williams said that she would otherwise have to move a trial originally scheduled for November back to July, her earliest available opening, with "a lot" of emergency cases to resolve first.

"There's real, specific evidence that this is hurting the ability to resolve cases," Sugameli said.

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