Today is Tuesday, September 24, 2013. As I understand it, Republican Florida senator, Marco Rubio, nominated Dade-Miami judge, William Thomas, to the 11th circuit court, which President Obama then approved, but when Rubio found out later Thomas was an openly gay man, he stepped back from his nomination. This, after Rubio had Thomas vetted and approved. The problem is the so-called ‘Blue Slip’ rule, which says without approval from a state’s two senators, a nomination may not go through. So, Rubio’s retreat means the nomination is dead. Thomas will not be appointed. The question is why.
The last few months have been pretty difficult for Rubio with the push back from the Tea Party on Rubio’s support for comprehensive immigration reform. He is losing his luster among conservatives over this and other moderating moves Rubio has taken in the Senate. He is looking for that Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and to support an openly gay, Black man for federal judge and comprehensive immigration reform puts him in a much dimmer light for these extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party.
Rubio should take heed from the leading Senate Republicans who are now pushing back hard against Tea Party darling, Rep. Cruz from Texas, who wants to defund the ACA or shut down the government. The Senate will not cooperate with the House Republicans over this, which means Cruz and his extremist cronies will have to fight their own party to make anything happen here. Rubio should stick to his moderate positions on these issues, immigration and Judge William Thomas, if he wants to be electable in 2016. It is pretty despicable that he is running scared enough to kill Thomas’ nomination to the federal bench. He would better serve himself, his party and the American people if he showed a little more integrity.