‘The Attorney General Position Must Be Filled Swiftly’

Senate Dems Previously: ‘This Position Is Too Important For Any Kind Of Political Games’

“Historically, the Senate began hearings before Inauguration Day for every attorney general nominee from a newly elected president since Dwight Eisenhower...” (“Democrats To Give Trump Cabinet Picks The Garland Treatment,” Politico, 12/05/2016)


Top Dem: ‘We Should All Be Able To Agree That Confirming The Top Law Enforcement Position Should Be An Urgent Priority Of The Senate’

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “I would say, based on the five AGs that I’ve been here for, we’ve moved them all quickly for very good reasons... And we have always had the tradition of moving these nominees as quickly as we possibly could.” (U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Executive Business Meeting, 2/12/2015)

SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-VT): “The responsibilities of the Attorney General of the United States are too important to have had this appointment delayed by partisan bickering.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.1245, 2/02/2009)

  • LEAHY: “We should all be able to agree that confirming the top law enforcement position should be an urgent priority of the Senate. At a time when we face all kinds of threats from terrorists--both outside our borders and within our borders--we should all be united in confirming an Attorney General nominee...” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.877, 2/10/2015)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): “It has been said to the point where it is a cliche, but nevertheless a true one, that justice delayed is justice denied. The refusal to confirm a leader to head the most important law enforcement agency in the United States is a delay of justice that for many seems to be a denial of justice.” (Sen. Kaine, Congressional Record, S.1476, 3/12/2015)

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): “Equally unfortunate, regrettable, and inappropriate is to inject politics into law enforcement. The nomination of the chief law enforcement officer in our Nation, the Attorney General--that position truly ought to be above politics. In fact, as we know from the structure of our government, it is generally regarded to be above politics. The President of the United States has his or her legal counsel to provide advice to the President, but the Attorney General of the United States enforces laws for this Nation--not for one party, not for one official, not on one issue, but on all issues for all people in the United States. When my colleagues have said on the floor that the President deserves his nominee, really it is the Nation that deserves a nominee to be confirmed.” (Sen. Blumenthal, Congressional Record, S.1520, 3/16/2015)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “Attorneys General are important... [T]his position is too important for any kind of political games and for any kind of delay.” (Sen. Booker, Congressional Record, S.1613, 3/18/2015)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “[I]t is simply irresponsible to hold up a highly qualified nominee for Attorney General because some don't like that [he or] she agrees with the very President who nominated her.” (Sen. Coons, Congressional Record, S.1573, 3/17/2015)

  • COONS: “We should not play political games with the Department of Justice, an executive branch agency with 125,000 employees and a $28 billion departmental budget that is charged with all sorts of different law enforcement functions, from running the Federal prisons to enforcing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, to making sure we fight human trafficking and money laundering.” (Sen. Coons, Congressional Record, S. 1573, 3/17/2015)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “[The president] is entitled to have his team in place, and we have a responsibility to vote on his nominations. Let's do the right thing and take up this nomination, debate it, and then have Senators vote up or down... We owe it to... the employees of the Justice Department, and the American people to have a newly designated Attorney General in place as the Nation's chief law enforcement officer and top defender of Americans' constitutional rights.” (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.1657, 3/19/2015)


 ‘As The Leading Law-Enforcement Official In The … Administration, The Attorney General Position Must Be Filled Swiftly’

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Alliance for Justice, National Organization For Women, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, & Many Others: “As the leading law-enforcement official in the … administration, the Attorney General position must be filled swiftly. As organizations working on a broad array of urgent unmet needs, we are concerned that a protracted confirmation process will divert the Senate’s time and resources away from addressing the pressing issues facing our country. … We urge the Senate to quickly confirm this eminently qualified nominee.” (Letter To Sens. Leahy & Specter, 1/14/2009)

DOUG KENDALL, Constitutional Responsibility Center President: ‘It is critical to the constitutional rights and interests of all Americans that leadership of the Department of Justice be in place as soon as possible.’ “I am writing on behalf of the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) to urge the Senate’s prompt confirmation of … [the] Attorney General of the United States.  CAC is a think tank, law firm and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. … we believe that it is critical to the constitutional rights and interests of all Americans that leadership of the Department of Justice be in place as soon as possible. …decisions must be made and it is important that this country have a confirmed Attorney General at the Department’s helm as soon as possible.” (Doug Kendall, Letter To Sens. Leahy & Specter, 1/9/2009)


Related Issues: Law Enforcement, Senate Democrats, Nominations