Politics & Government

Obama rebuffs Texas' GOP senators on judicial nominees

WASHINGTON — The White House has thrown down the gauntlet to Texas' Republican senators in the ongoing skirmish over control of nominations of judges, marshals and U.S. attorneys by saying that the state's 12 U.S. House Democrats will be central to the selection process.

"The Texas Democratic members of the House of Representatives have, at the request of the White House, engaged in a process that involves interviewing potential candidates for federal judge, U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal," the statement said.

"The White House supports the Texas Democratic delegation's established process for reviewing and submitting candidates. Individuals seeking these positions should utilize this process to ensure full consideration by the White House."

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who gave the White House release to reporters, has led the effort by Texas Democrats to play a deciding role in nominations, a role traditionally played by a state's senators.

Both Texas senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, are Republicans, but Democrats control the White House, as well as both chambers of Congress, leading Doggett to insist that House Democrats have a say.

Doggett has pushed the White House to reject the Texas senators' attempt to control the process, and the Democrats appear to have prevailed.

The White House statement says, "No federal judge, U.S. attorney or U.S. marshal will be nominated by the president, however, unless that person has the confirmed support of the Texas Democratic delegation."