Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado serves in the committee that pushes through Justice Department nominees to the senate floor to be voted upon. Over a month ago Senator Gardner announced he would block any nominees after Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo that provided general policy to U.S. attorneys not to pursue state legal marijuana businesses or participants.
Since that time, Senator Gardner has stood firm on his blockade and stopped 11 nominees from being voted on and could end up stopping another 20 nominees from even reaching the vote. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke yesterday at the National Sheriff’s Association and vented his frustrations over the blockade.
“It’s just getting to be frustrating!” the attorney general said in a speech to the National Sheriffs Association on Monday. “We’re trying to confirm a number of important component heads at the Department of Justice,” but “we can’t even get a vote!”
The pressure to move those nominees into their positions increased last week with the resignation of Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the department’s third-ranking official after Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The candidates are “outstanding nominees”, Sessions added, complaining that Gardner’s blockade was over “unrelated issues.”
“As attorney general, I don’t have the authority to say that something is legal if it’s not legal,” he said.
He continues to remark that he knows that law enforcement is not the problem but that it is the solution to violent crime associated with illegal drug activities. Everyone is pretty clear about the value of law enforcement, however the Attorney General does not seem to grasp the idea that to fight crime here in the United States, law enforcement is not the only alternative we have.
You can find the full speech here on C-SPAN and you will find the segment where he whines about Senator Gardner’s blockade around the nine minute mark. Do you think that Senator Gardner will follow-through on the blockade until Jeff Sessions reinstates the Cole Memo?