US Senator Cory Gardner is scheduled to meet with Attorney Jeff Sessions today to push back on decisions made last week to rescind the Cole Memo. If Gardner doesn’t get his way, he plans to block all nominees related to the Department of Justice, as well as US attorneys and US marshals from other states.
According to a statement made by Gardner, “It’s my job to protect those states’ rights and states’ decisions. I would anticipate it being (Justice) officials. I would anticipate it being U.S. marshals (and) U.S. attorneys. But the bottom line is (that) this can be solved by the Department of Justice.”
What is it exactly that Gardner wants?
The Republican Senator from Colorado said he would back down if Sessions agreed to reinstate the Cole Memo or change course on his decision.
“They can reverse the decision to rescind the Cole Memo,” said Gardner. “They could have a new way forward with Jeff Sessions preserving states’ rights.”
If Sessions does not comply with what Gardner is asking, an estimated two dozen people would be affected. This includes several individuals in high-end positions in the Department of Justice. Lawmakers who desire to put a hold on nominees (like Gardner will do if he doesn’t get his way) have broad freedom to do so under Senate rules.
Gardner commented last week that he was “prepared to take all steps necessary” regarding Sessions’ decision. This included holding Department of Justice nominees. Today, Gardner will fulfill his previous threats by letting Sessions know he well intends to follow through on what he said.
Department of Justice officials have declined any comment on the upcoming meeting.
If what Gardner demands doesn’t work, he and other lawmakers from Colorado are getting a legislative work-around ready that would forbid the Department of Justice from spending any money on enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that have already legalized cannabis.
Protection would cover both medicinal and recreational use. US Representative Jared Polis from Boulder says they are “pushing for” restricting the funding to “commercial marijuana (enforcement), as well as medicinal.”