Last year, Barack Obama picked former Acting Assistant Attorney General David Barron as his choice for a vacant seat on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. His brief time at the Justice Department, however, has opened Barron – and the Obama administration – up to some widespread, bipartisan criticism.
According to reports, Barron drafted a memo defending the deadly drone strike against American terror suspect Anwar al-Awlaki. As a result, his nomination is now being held up amid demands for the release of the memo, which has reportedly been cited as justification for the assassination of other American citizens.
The White House has been unresponsive to a court order to that effect; and in response, senators from both parties have promised to stall Barron’s confirmation vote until the administration complies.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spoke out on the matter this week, citing his concern not only about the memo’s contents but the executive branch’s policy of withholding pertinent information from the American people.
“The Obama administration has been extremely resistant in providing information about its drone program, which continues with its refusal to disclose the body of David Barron’s government work,” Cruz said via a press release.
He contends there is a very direct correlation between Barron’s stint at the DOJ and his ability to serve on the appeals court panel.
Cruz asserted that confirming him would be a “grave mistake,” explaining Barron “shaped the government’s policies that are roiling the public today.”
Far from a merely partisan position, Cruz concluded opposition to the nominee should be fierce on both sides of the aisle.
“Any Democrat concerned about civil liberties should have profound concerns here,” he continued. “The Senate’s decision to allow a person such as Mr. Barron to be confirmed by a bare partisan majority without any real attempt to provide proper ‘advice and consent’ is in the long run an even graver mistake.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision last year to strike the minority party’s option to filibuster nominees has also been a thorn in the side of Republicans in the chamber.
In his statement, Cruz also criticized the “so-called ‘nuclear option’ Democrats are using to ram through controversial nominees on strict party-line votes.”
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom