Sen. Ted Cruz to Oppose Trump Judicial Nominee

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz says he will oppose President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fifth circuit, Halil Suleyman Ozerden, over concerns about his judicial record as a constitutionalist, Politico reports.

Cruz, a member of the Judiciary Committee, in July expressed concerns during Ozerden’s confirmation hearing about his record on religious liberty.

“For a lifetime appointment on the court of appeals, I believe we should be looking for someone with a strong, demonstrated record as a constitutionalist,” Cruz said in a statement to Politico.

“I have significant concerns that Judge Ozerden’s judicial record does not indicate that he meets that standard. For that reason, I do not believe he should be on the court of appeals, and I will oppose his nomination.”

Other Judiciary Committee Republicans, including Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Josh Hawley of Missouri also expressed concerns during Ozerden’s confirmation hearing, specifically over a ruling he made while serving on the bench in the Southern District of Mississippi against Catholics who protested the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.

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