In a Trump-Pence administration and with a Republican Congress, help is on the way.Cotton has long been mostly about Cotton. And some aspects of the me-first senator continue to draw unflattering attention, particularly his refusal to get along with others in the Senate, including many in his own party.
"The ability of the court to decide cases is being inexcusably harmed by Sen. Cotton's failure to do his job," said Glenn Sugameli, founder of Judging the Environment and a senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife. "There's an advise and consent duty."
A prominent example of the problems the court faces without a full bench came in Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams' comments at an October scheduling conference, in a case filed by the Jicarilla Apache Nation, according to Sugameli.
While noting she could possibly hand trial off to another judge, Judge Williams said that she would otherwise have to move a trial originally scheduled for November back to July, her earliest available opening, with "a lot" of emergency cases to resolve first.
"There's real, specific evidence that this is hurting the ability to resolve cases," Sugameli said.