President Obama has yet to reveal his choice to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, but already the Senate confirmation process has begun its march toward contentiousness, reports the Washington Post. With Nov. 4 elections potentially tipping the balance in the Senate, some Republicans immediately called for a delay in the hearings and votes on the new attorney general until January, when the possibility of a GOP majority in the Senate might give Republicans almost total control of the outcome. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) said outgoing senators should not vote on the nominee during the post-election lame-duck session.
Democrats argued that Republicans should step back and allow Obama to select his own cabinet without GOP obstruction. “This is going to be the first real test, whether it's in the lame-duck or early in the new year, whether our Republican colleagues are going to continue to obstruct,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). “Every president deserves to have his attorney general.” Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general under Obama, said that in contrast to the beginning of the Obama administration, “Now you have really a deep bench of people who understand what the mission of Department of Justice is and have served at its highest levels. I expect that the White House will nominate someone who has Republican support in the Senate and that the Senate will not delay consideration of the nation's chief law enforcement official.”