The Senate Judiciary Committee took up the nomination of Vanita Gupta today. She is Joe Biden’s nominee to be Associate Attorney General. You can watch the meeting at this link.
The Committee was evenly divided on Gupta’s nomination. All Democratic Senators voted in her favor. All Republican Senators voted against her.
I want to call attention to two of the presentations in which Republican Senators explained their opposition. The first was by Sen. Ted Cruz. It begins around the 1 hour 50 minute mark.
Cruz did a brilliant job of exposing Gupta’s dishonesty on the subject of Dylann Roof. At her hearing Gupta claimed credit for the Justice Department seeking the death penalty for Roof. It turns out, however, that Gupta actually opposed seeking the death penalty for him.
But we did not raise it with the acuity and eloquence of Sen. Cruz. I recommend viewing his presentation.
I also recommend Sen. Tom Cotton’s presentation. It begins around the 2 hour and 15 minute mark. Sen. Cotton starts out strongly and really picks steam a few minutes later. He shows, for example, that Gupta has proclaimed “equal justice for all” and “rule of law” to be “code words for twisted racism.” And even in her written answers to questions, Gupta did not disavow these outrageous comments, which are staples of radical critical race theory.
Cotton was on such a roll that the Committee Chairman, Dick Durbin, cut him off. Republican members complained that this was a violation of both Committee rules and agreed upon procedure.
Sen. Durbin did not contend otherwise. Rather, he refused to entertain argument. It also seemed to me that he cut off the microphones of dissenting Senators.
Sen. Cotton was at least able to say that what goes around, comes around. Let’s hope that’s the case with Durbin.
With the Committee deadlocked on Gupta’s confirmation, her nomination will proceed to the Senate floor. And it looks like, with Sen. Joe Manchin apparently on board, she will be confirmed.
Which makes me wonder why Durbin felt the need to cut off Cotton off. Perhaps there is still some chance of persuading Manchin to vote “no.” More likely, Durbin is just a very nasty guy who enjoys needlessly exercising his power to stick it to Republicans.