Tie Vote On Rachael Rollins' US Attorney Nomination In Senate Judiciary

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins speaks at a rally in support of Boston's Jewish community after the stabbing of a rabbi in Brighton, July 2, 2021. Photo: Courtesy Suffolk County District Attorney's Office

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins will need to wait a little longer before learning her fate. Rollins' nomination for US Attorney for Massachusetts was deadlocked in the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning, on an 11-11 vote that split directly down party lines. Democratic leadership can now bring her nomination for a full vote on the Senate floor.

Rollins' has been the Suffolk Country District Attorney since 2019. Her nomination to the US Attorney job has attracted considerable ire from Senate Republicans, who have portrayed her as pro-crime for her refusal to prosecute some non-violent crimes as Suffolk County DA.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) is one of Rollins' strongest detractors, vowing to tank her nomination earlier in the summer. Cotton said it was "generous to call her a prosecutor at all," in Thursday's hearing, calling her a "radical pro-criminal." Cotton delayed the nomination vote last week, and asked for a roll-call vote on Thursday, which he admitted was "rare" and hasn't been done for a US attorney nomination in 28 years.

Democrats on the committee came to Rollins' defense, pointing out that Rollins had received positive testimony from many law enforcement officials in Massachusetts, including State Police Colonel Chris Mason and former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross.

Former Mass. Governors, including Republican Bill Weld (who was the Massachusetts US Attorney under President Reagan) and Democrat Deval Patrick also sent in letters of positive testimony.

There is no scheduled time yet for the full Senate vote on Rollins' nomination.

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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