Cornyn Backs Down
By Stephanie Woodrow | October 23, 2009 12:10 pm
John Cornyn (gov)

John Cornyn (gov)

With the White House unwilling to consider his pick for Dallas U.S. Attorney, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Thursday eased up in his fight to get Sarah Saldana nominated, The Dallas Morning News reported. Although he still prefers the North Texas Assistant U.S. Attorney for the job, Cornyn said during a conference call with reporters that he is willing to consider other candidates, The Morning News reported.

Cornyn and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) have been squaring off with Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) over whether Republicans or Democrats will be in charge of recommending U.S. Attorney candidates to the White House. Cornyn has threatened to block any nominee who was not approved by a screening committee set up by the Republican senators. Doggett has insisted that Texas Democrats will have the final word.

During the Thursday call, Cornyn’s tone seemed to soften. “The ball is really in the White House’s court,” the senator said. He said he would characterize his discussions with the White House as “a negotiation,” The Morning News reported.

Doggett said on Thursday said in a statement: ”Since there are a number of well-qualified individuals for U.S. attorney, I have no doubt this will be resolved from our delegation’s recommendations.”

According to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Texas Democrats are unwilling to recommend Saldana, The Morning News reported. While they have yet to publicly announce their choices for the Dallas-based job,  Democrats have recommended Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Terri Moore and Dallas civil lawyer Roger Williams to President Obama, The Morning News has reported.

Cornyn spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said the senator is waiting for an answer from the White House as to why Saldana is not being considered, The Morning News reported. “She’s an arguably liberal Democrat who’s been endorsed by [abortion rights group] NARAL and a lot of liberal organizations who Senator Cornyn does not have anything in common with,” McLaughlin said, adding, “It’s not like it’s Antonin Scalia,” he added, referring to the conservative Supreme Court justice.

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