It's a new year in Washington, D.C. Back on Dec. 19, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated his first Texan, U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa of Galveston (pictured), to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Today, despite U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's massive differences with the president over just about everything, the Lone Star State's senior senator blessed that nomination.
“I have a lot of confidence in Judge Costa,” said Cornyn, a Senate Judiciary Committee member. He and former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison "recommended him for a district court nomination, and we are working very closely with the White House,” Cornyn said. “I support the nomination,” he added. “He’s a solid appointment.”
Costa hasn't been on the trial bench that long. In 2011, the president nominated Costa--a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Texas who helped send financier R. Allen Stanford to prison for 110 years--to the trial bench on the recommendation of Cornyn and Hutchison. Obama nominated Costa to replace Judge Fortunato “Pete” Benavides, who took senior status in 2012.
Costa did not immediately return a call for comment. A spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who replaced Hutchison in the Senate, also did not return a call for comment.
Speaking of Texas' junior senator, Cruz has something in common with Obama’s Democratic nominee to the Fifth Circuit: Both served as law clerks for the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
— John Council