Republican opposition to President Joe Biden’s nomination for the top federal prosecutor in the state of Massachusetts sparked a deadlock on her nomination.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-11 on Thursday in a rare move to deadlock Rachael Rollins’s nomination to be U.S. attorney for Massachusetts and force the full Senate to choose whether to move forward or drop her as a potential candidate to fill the spot.
The White House previously propped up Rollins as one of a group of attorneys who were “chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice” but GOP senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Rollins does not fit the bill.
Shortly after her election to Suffolk County District Attorney, Rollins issued a memo stating her intent to make certain criminal offenses in her area non-prosecutable. Among the 15 crimes she officially brushed off, Sen Tom Cotton noted, were “trespassing, disorderly conduct, breaking and entering, malicious destruction of property, threats, resisting arrest, and even drug trafficking.”
“She has issued that list as the do-not-prosecute directive once she took office,” Cotton said. “That’s right, in the midst of a national drug crisis with more than 90,000 of our fellow Americans killed by a drug overdose in the last year alone, Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. attorney openly says that she does not believe that we should prosecute drug possession with intent to distribute of subjects like fentanyl and heroin.”
Cotton also called her a “radical pro-criminal prosecutor.”
“That’s what Ms. Rollins tells you matters about a prosecutor, the power to say ‘I won’t prosecute these crimes,'” Sen. Ted Cruz said in the committee meeting. “Basically, this is the prosecutor saying ‘I’m the legislature. Those pesky elected legislators that actually voted on the criminal code, I don’t care what they say. I am erasing these crimes from the criminal code.'”
The record of Rachael Rollins, Joe Biden’s radical nominee to be U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, will take your breath away.
Rollins has been vocal and aggressive AGAINST prosecuting crime. pic.twitter.com/SNdQSxTUPi
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 30, 2021