Among many other topics, the Senate today debated the nomination of Rachel Brand to be Associate Attorney General, the third position in the Department of Justice. Leader McConnell spoke of her sterling credentials:
Rachel Brand's impressive background includes experience clerking for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and she has already been confirmed by the Senate twice before. She is extraordinarily talented, as Chairman Grassley noted at her hearing, and dedicated to the full and evenhanded enforcement of our laws. Ms. Brand also has the support of a bipartisan group of former senior officials at the Justice Department, including Jamie Gorlich and Seth Waxman, who in a recent letter on her behalf cited her stellar reputation for integrity, legal skills, and respect for the law. As they pointed out, Ms. Brand's extensive private and public sector experience would serve her well as the Associate Attorney General, and they also noted she would be a trusted leader in the Department.
After further outlining her impressive resume, Senator Kennedy of Louisiana noted that the responsibilities of the Associate Attorney General are important:
Yet, despite her credentials and how uncontroversial she should be, Democrats have obstructed and delayed her nomination, far more than similarly qualified and uncontroversial Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Why? Because she is a strong, conservative woman nominated by President Trump, and Democrats are determined to attack and oppose President Trump to gain political points with their extreme liberal base in whatever way possible. And Democrats particularly cannot allow a woman (or a minority in other cases - see Judge Thapar) who is a Republican to hold high office, as it disrupts their narrative of Republicans being anti-woman, anti-minority, etc.
Senator Blumenthal admitted today that the opposition is not about Rachel Brand but about opposing President Trump and preventing the confirmation of Republicans to positions in the Department of Justice:
Setting aside the ridiculousness of the Democrats' demands for an independent special prosecutor, Sen. Blumenthal's opposition boils down to, in order: 1. Trump, 2. Russia, and 3. Ms. Brand has the audacity to be a conservative and Republican.
The Senate finally voted for cloture on the Brand nomination, with only 51 votes in favor of cloture. Can you imagine the outrage if Republicans had delayed, obstructed, opposed, and voted against a woman nominated for a high position by a Democratic President? Especially if for no other reason than pure politics.