Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton again gets attention for being a roadblock to justice.

In this case, Politico reports, Cotton appears to be stirring up opposition to even modest prison reform that enjoys the support of his normal ally, Donald Trump.


With authoritarian Cotton it’s simple: Though the United States is the incarceration leader of the world, he believes we still aren’t locking enough people up. Nobody ever accused Cotton of being nice. No wonder he’s developed a reputation as the most loathed member of the U.S. Senate, quite an achievement against Ted Cruz and Co.

Cotton’s office tries to dodge the allegation of direct opposition, but said Politico:


However, the emails reviewed by POLITICO show at least two leading law enforcement groups discussing a call by Cotton’s office this week for letters of opposition on prison reform ahead of a White House summit Friday on the issue.

In one instance, the request from Cotton’s camp appears to have lost the prisons bill a supporter: The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which had declared its endorsement in February, wrote to House and Senate Republican leaders on Friday announcing it was reversing that position and would oppose the prison reform bill, citing changes made to the measure in recent weeks.

How mean is Tom Cotton? Consider that the most legislation backed by Trump isn’t much. It has some bipartisan backing.

But some influential opponents, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and civil rights groups like the ACLU and NAACP, have tried to torpedo the bill because it does nothing to address sentencing reductions, a key priority for criminal justice advocates.

No sentence reductions? You’d think Cotton would be on board with that.


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