John Cornyn: Wikis

  
  

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John Cornyn


Incumbent
Assumed office 
December 1, 2002[1]
Serving with Kay Bailey Hutchison
Preceded by Phil Gramm

In office
January 13, 1999 – December 1, 2002
Preceded by Dan Morales
Succeeded by Greg Abbott

Born February 2, 1952 (1952-02-02) (age 58)
Houston, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sandy Cornyn
Children Haley Cornyn
Danley Cornyn
Residence Austin, Texas
Alma mater Trinity University, St. Mary's University School of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
Occupation Attorney
Religion Church of Christ

John Cornyn III (born February 2, 1952) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. He is a Republican and was elected to his first term in November 2002, having defeated Democrat Ron Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, Texas.[2][3] In the general election of November 4, 2008, he defeated the Democratic State Representative Rick Noriega of Houston for his second term. He was elected Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 111th U.S. Congress.[4]

Contents

Early life and law career

Cornyn was born in Houston to Atholene Gale (née Danley) and John Cornyn II.[5] He graduated from Trinity University in 1973, where he majored in journalism and was a member of the local fraternity Chi Delta Tau.[3][6][7] He earned a J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law in 1977 and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1995.[8][9]

He served in San Antonio for six years as a district judge before being elected as a Republican in 1990 to the Texas Supreme Court, where he served for seven years.[3] From 1999 to 2002, John Cornyn was the Texas Attorney General, the first of thus far only two Republicans to have held the position. In 2005, Cornyn's name was mentioned among possibilities to replace Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O'Connor or William Rehnquist.[10]

Senate career

In the 2002 U.S. Senate Primary in Texas, AG Cornyn was the candidate promoted and supported by the Texas Republican Party in the Primary election. Cornyn easily defeated the five other candidates in the Republican Primary while disdaining the opportunity to debate the other candidates. Cornyn defeated his closest Republican challenger, Bruce Rusty Lang, a self-financed Dallas based international physician, in the Republican Primary election by a ten to one electoral margin. In the 2002 General election Candidate Cornyn defeated Democrat Ron Kirk, a former Dallas Mayor, in a campaign which cost each candidate over $10,000,000. USD (Ten Million U.S. Dollars).

In 2004, Cornyn co-founded and became the co-chairman of the U.S. Senate India Caucus.[11] Cornyn was selected by his colleagues in December 2006 to be a member of the five-person Republican Senate leadership team as Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.[12]

While in the Senate, Cornyn has received various awards and recognitions, including the 2005 Border Texan of the Year Award; the National Child Support Enforcement Association's Children's Champion Award; the American Farm Bureau Federation's Friend of Farm Bureau Award; the Texas Association of Business's (TAB) Fighter for Free Enterprise Award; the National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) Guardian of Small Business Award; the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders's (CONLAMIC) Latino Leadership Award; and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce's (TAMACC) International Leadership Legislative Award; among others.[3]

In 2005, Cornyn gained notice by connecting the Supreme Court's reluctance to hear arguments for sustaining Terri Schiavo's life with the recent murders of Judge Joan Lefkow's husband and mother as well as that of Judge Rowland Barnes. "I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and building up to the point where some people engage in violence."[13] His statement and a similar one by House Majority Leader Tom Delay were widely denounced, including The New York Times.[14] Cornyn later said that he regretted the statement.[15]

Cornyn has been described by Jim Jubak of MSN Money as one of "Big Oil's ten favorite members of Congress," as he has received more money from the oil and gas industry than all but six other members of Congress.[16]

Committee assignments

Political views

Cornyn was ranked by National Journal as the seventeenth-most conservative United States Senator in their 2008 rankings.[17] He was considered by the Dallas Morning News to be a reliable ally of former President George W. Bush on most issues.[18]

Environment and energy

In 2005, Cornyn voted against including oil and gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. He voted against factoring global warming into federal project planning, and against banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He voted against reducing oil usage by 40%, rather than by 5%. He also voted against removing oil and gas exploration subsidies.[19] During his tenure in the Senate, Cornyn has scored 0% on the League of Conservation Voters' environmental scorecard, a system of ranking politicians according to their voting record on environmental legislation.[20]

Civil rights and law enforcement

In the 2004 debate surrounding the Federal Marriage Amendment, Cornyn released an advance copy of a speech he was to give at the Heritage Foundation. In the speech, he wrote, "It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right ... [N]ow you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife." He removed the reference to the box turtle in the actual speech, but the Washington Post ran the quote, as did The Daily Show.[21][22]

Cornyn sponsored a bill that would allow law enforcement to force anyone arrested or detained to provide samples of their DNA, which would be recorded in a central database.[23] He voted to recommend a constitutional ban on flag desecration and for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. He also voted for the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act and extending its wiretap provision. He is rated an A by the National Rifle Association.[19] Cornyn said on December 20, 2005: "None of your civil liberties matter much after you're dead" in a speech supporting reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.[24]

Abortion and stem cell research

He voted to ban partial-birth abortions except in cases where the mother's life was in danger and for a criminal penalty for harming a fetus while committing another crime. He also voted in favor of notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. He voted against expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.[19] He voted to prevent contributions to organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning, and to prevent funding of organizations that support coercive abortion.[25]

War, peace, and homeland security

In 2005, Cornyn voted against additional funding for up-armored vehicles to protect troops in Afghanistan & Iraq. Cornyn voted against removing troops from Iraq by July 2007, and he later voted against removing them by March 2008. He voted against implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report and restoring $565 million for states' and ports' first responders. He also voted against restricting businesses with ties to terrorism. He voted against preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. Cornyn was one of only 22 Senators to vote against the Post-9/11 GI Bill that expands the educational benefits for soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.[26] He instead co-sponsored SB 2938, which gives benefits that are dependent on length of service.[citation needed]

Economy and taxes

Cornyn is a cosponsor of the Fair Tax Act of 2007.[27] He voted to permanently repeal the estate tax and for raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million. He voted in favor of $350 billion in tax cuts over 11 years, and supports making President Bush's tax cuts permanent.[19]

Cornyn voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, but against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.

Judicial nominations

John Cornyn voted to confirm Samuel Alito as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and John Roberts for Chief Justice of the United States.[19] In September 2005, during the Supreme Court hearings for Roberts, Cornyn's staff passed out bingo cards to reporters. He asked them to stamp their card every time a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee used terms such as "far right" or "extremist".[28]

On July 24, 2009 Cornyn announced his intention to vote against President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, citing his opinion that she might rule from a "from a liberal, activist perspective."[29]

Opposition to the Obama administration

On the day of Obama's inauguration, it was reported that Cornyn would prevent Hillary Rodham Clinton from being confirmed as secretary of state by a unanimous floor vote that day. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman reported to the Associated Press that a roll call vote would be held instead on the following day, January 21, 2009, for the Clinton confirmation, and that it was expected Clinton would "receive overwhelming bipartisan support."[30] The vote was 94-2 in her favor, with only Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA) in opposition.[31]

Cornyn also took the lead on resisting the nomination of Eric Holder for Attorney General, attempting to set up hypothetical questions which would have supported the use of torture. During the nomination hearings, Holder rejected the premise of that line of questioning and declined to endorse waterboarding as a legitimate law enforcement or national security tool.[32]

Minnesota Senate Recount

As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Cornyn was a strong supporter of Norm Coleman's various court challenges to the election certification.[33] Cornyn advocated for Coleman to bring the case before the federal court, and had said the trial and appeals could take years to complete.[34] Cornyn had threatened that Republicans would wage a "World War III" if the Senate Democrats had attempted to seat Franken before the appeals were complete.[35] Eventually Coleman conceded when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of Franken.

U.S. Senate election, 2008

Texas has not elected a Democrat in a statewide election since 1994, and according to Rasmussen polling, in October 2008 Cornyn had an approval rating of 50%.[36] Texas House of Representatives member/Afghanistan War veteran Rick Noriega secured his place as Cornyn's Democratic challenger in the March 4 primary, beating out opponents Gene Kelly, Ray McMurrey, and Rhett Smith. The same Rasmussen poll showed Cornyn leading Noriega 47% to 43%, suggesting that this race might have proved to be unexpectedly competitive. However, most polls showed a much wider margin.

Christian activist Larry Kilgore of Mansfield, Texas, was a Republican challenger for the March 2008 primary election, but Cornyn easily won the Republican primary.[37]

Yvonne Adams Schick was the Libertarian Party's nominee.[38] In addition, the Green Party of Texas sought ballot access for its candidate David B. Collins.[39]

Electoral history

Texas U.S. Senate Election 2008[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Cornyn (incumbent) 4,326,639 54.80
Democratic Rick Noriega 3,383,890 42.86
Libertarian Yvonne Adams Schick 184,729 2.34
Texas U.S. Senate Election 2002[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Cornyn 2,480,991 54.7
Democratic Ron Kirk 1,946,681 43.3
Libertarian Scott Jameson 35,538 0.78
Green Roy Williams 25,051 0.55

Personal life

Cornyn and his wife, Sandy Hansen, have two daughters, Haley and Danley.

Pop culture

Cornyn gained national attention when he released a video referring to himself as "Big Bad John". The video was featured on comedy shows such as The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.

In 1999, John Cornyn, as state attorney general, awarded "Lawman of the Year" to free-lance, discredited undercover officer Tom Coleman, for his work in Tulia, Texas.[40][41] This work resulted in the Tulia 46 scandal.

See also

United States Senate election in Texas, 2008

References

  1. ^ 2003 Congressional Record, Vol. 149, Page S1
  2. ^ a b c ""Office of the Secretary of State"". http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d ""United States Senator John Cornyn, Texas: About Senator Cornyn"". http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutSenatorCornyn.Biography. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  4. ^ NRSC.org
  5. ^ ""Rootsweb Senatorial Genealogies: Cornyn"". http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~battle/senators/cornyn.htm. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  6. ^ ""U.S. Senator To Address Trinity University Undergraduates"". http://www.trinity.edu/departments/public_relations/news_releases/0422commencement.htm. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  7. ^ ""Alumni Association Foundation - Chi Delta Tau"". http://www.trinity.edu/student_org/chidelts/Alumni/AlumniAssociationFoundation/alumfound.html. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  8. ^ ""U.S. Senator John Cornyn to Speak at Opening of Center for Terrorism Law as St. Mary's University School of Law"". http://www.stmarytx.edu/news/index.php?section=archives&id=387. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  9. ^ ""Alumni in the News, 2002"". http://www.law.virginia.edu/home2002/html/alumni/alumninews_02.htm. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Possible Nominees to the Supreme Court". The Washington Post. July 1, 2005. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/01/AR2005070100756.html. 
  11. ^ ""India Caucus formed in US Senate"". http://www.indianembassy.org/i_digest/2004/may/india_caucus.htm. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  12. ^ ""Senate Republican Conference :: About the SRC"". http://src.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutSRC.AboutViceChairman. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  13. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Doubleday. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-385-51640-2.
  14. ^ NYtimes.com
  15. ^ CNN.com
  16. ^ ""Big Oil's 10 favorite members of Congress"". http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/JubaksJournal/BigOils10FavoriteMembersOfCongress.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  17. ^ ""National Journal: 2008 Vote Ratings (03/02/2007)"". http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20090228_4726.php. 
  18. ^ "Bush rallies immigration bill's GOP foes" Dallas Morning News June 13, 2006.
  19. ^ a b c d e ""John Cornyn on the Issues"". http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/John_Cornyn.htm. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  20. ^ ""LCV_2006_Scorecard_final.pdf"" (PDF). http://www.lcv.org/images/client/pdfs/LCV_2006_Scorecard_final.pdf. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  21. ^ Romano, Lois (July 12, 2004). "In Oklahoma, GOP Race Not a Given". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43048-2004Jul11.html. 
  22. ^ ""The Boys in the Ban"". http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=107990&title=the-boys-in-the-ban. Retrieved November 14, 2007. 
  23. ^ Washington Post Article, 9/23/05
  24. ^ ""The GOP's 'Give Me Death' Defense on Domestic Spying"". http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/000319.htm. 
  25. ^ "Votes by John Cornyn". Congress votes database. Washington Post. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/c001056/votes/. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  26. ^ Retrieved on May 23, 2008 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00137
  27. ^ ""S. 1025: Fair Tax Act of 2007 (GovTrack.us)"". http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1025. Retrieved September 19, 2007. 
  28. ^ Milbank, Dana (September 16, 2005). ""Final Day of Nomination Hearings: Yawn."". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/15/AR2005091501245_pf.html. 
  29. ^ Elpasotimes.com
  30. ^ Comcast.net
  31. ^ CNN broadcast, The Situation Room, January 21, 2009, at 4:38 PM Eastern time.
  32. ^ Cornyn’s Absurd Hypothetical For Holder: What If Waterboarding Were Your Only Interrogation Option?, January 15, 2009, including transcript and video.
  33. ^ Raju, Manu (03/17/2009). "GOP eyes Bush v. Gore for Coleman". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20084.html. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  34. ^ Hasen, Richard (2009-03-18). "Franken's Monster Will Bush v. Gore bite Democrats in Coleman v. Franken?". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2214074/. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  35. ^ Raju, Manu (March 30, 2009). "In Minnesota, it's still November" (in en). Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20634.html. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  36. ^ Rasmussen Reports on Texas
  37. ^ Noriega avoids runoff in Senate bid; Cornyn wins easily, Dallas Morning News
  38. ^ Libertarian Party of Texas
  39. ^ Txgreens.org
  40. ^ "The Color of Justice by Nate Blakeslee - Texasobserver.org, Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  41. ^ "Tulia Travesty Covered Up By Texas Prosecutors and Courts". Forejustice.org Retrieved 2008-01-05.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Dan Morales
Attorney General of Texas
1999–2002
Succeeded by
Greg Abbott
United States Senate
Preceded by
Phil Gramm
United States Senator (Class 2) from Texas
2002 – present
Served alongside: Kay Bailey Hutchison
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Vice-Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
2007–2009
Succeeded by
John Thune
Preceded by
John Ensign
Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
2009 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Lamar Alexander
R-Tennessee
United States Senators by seniority
64th
Succeeded by
Mark Pryor
D-Arkansas

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

John Cornyn III (born February 2, 1952) is the junior United States Senator (Republican) from Texas. He was elected to his first term in 2002.

Sourced

  • Well, you know, that's the problem in America, we're always having elections.

External links

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