The U.S. Senate has confirmed two Texas judges for federal courts in the Lone Star State and another Texan to lead the nation’s immigration service.
Senators voted 55-39 today to confirm Sarah R. Saldana as Assistant Homeland Security Secretary in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Texas has been front and center of the immigration debate, and the state’s attorney general and next governor Greg Abbott has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and others in opposition to President Barack Obama’s directive to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) opposed her nomination.
“By ignoring the rule of law and launching another massive executive power grab on immigration, the president has unfortunately put Ms. Saldana in an extremely difficult position,” Cornyn said in a statement Wednesday. “I am troubled by her recent comments regarding the president’s executive actions, and I cannot support her nomination to be our nation’s chief immigration enforcement officer until she explains her views before a full hearing in the Judiciary Committee.”
The same day Saldana’s confirmation was announced, Cornyn and the state’s other Republican senator, Ted Cruz, lead dozens of congressmen and a legal justice group in filing an amicus brief in the litigation.
Saldana, a U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, was nominated by Obama in August.
The Senate on Wednesday also confirmed both nominees for vacant judgeships in the Eastern District of Texas.
Judge Amos Mazzant will serve in the Sherman Division and Judge Trey Schroeder will preside over the Texarkana Division.
Mazzant , a federal magistrate judge in the Sherman Division since 2009, graduated from Baylor Law School in 1990. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve as a state appellate judge for the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas in 2004.
Schroeder is a partner with Patton Tidwell Schroeder & Culbertson LLP in Texarkana.
According to the firm’s website, Schroeder attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and received a law degree from Washington College of Law at the American University in 1994.
He served in the Clinton White House as Associate Counsel to the President.
Schroeder will succeed retired Judge David Folsom. The post has been vacant for eight years and the vacancy was declared a judicial emergency.