WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) – The Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ nomination to be the next U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts ended in a tie Thursday morning.
The 22 members of the committee split down party lines in their vote – 11 Democrats approved the nomination and 11 Republicans did not.
The nomination will now move ahead to the full Senate for a final vote.
“She will be our next U.S. Attorney from Massachusetts because the Democrats control the Senate,” WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller said on CBSN Boston immediately after Thursday’s vote.
This was the first time there’s been a roll call vote in the committee for a U.S. Attorney in 30 years.
President Biden nominated Rollins for the job in July, but Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton has been trying convince colleagues to oppose the nomination because of her positions on criminal justice reform.
Cotton sent out this tweet after the tie vote:
Rachael Rollins won't prosecute drug traffickers who peddle fentanyl to kids.
And this pro-criminal radical wants to be a U.S. Attorney.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 30, 2021
“What Republicans are doing is setting the stage for using the confirmation of Rachael Rollins as a political weapon to bludgeon the Democrats with, in the mid-terms coming up, and down the road,” Keller said. “They’re going to turn her record here in Massachusetts as an anvil to hang around the necks of Democratic candidates going forward.”
“Rollins supports decriminalizing certain offenses and treating the offenders either with restitution policies or rehabilitation. These are policies that were supported by the conservative DA that preceded her and by DAs all over the country,” Keller added.
After the vote, Rollins issued a statement saying she “remains incredibly humbled” by the nomination.
“She looks forward to the confirmation process going to the full Senate and is deeply grateful for the wide range of bipartisan support her nomination has received especially from people in Massachusetts and in law enforcement,” her office said.
If confirmed, Rollins would be the first Black woman to hold the job.