The protracted U.S. attorney appointment process has claimed its latest casualty: Michael McCrum, who withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday.
In his letter to White House general counsel Robert Bauer, the San Antonio-based lawyer, who was poised to become the state's first federal prosecutor appointed by Barack Obama, said that there was "no practical option" but to remove himself from consideration and that he felt "profound regret" for not having the chance to take over the job.
“I have not been able to take any cases for the past six to nine months, and as a result my practice has dwindled to almost nothing,” McCrum told the San Antonio Express-News. “It's a very difficult situation.”
All four Texas U.S. attorney posts stand vacant — more than any other state — in part due to squabbling between the Texas House Democratic delegation and the two Republican senators over who should control the recommendation process and in part due to delays from the White House. McCrum, a consensus candidate backed by both House Democrats and the senators in the Western District, lately represented the state's best shot at a presidentially confirmed federal prosecutor.
In April, Beaumont state district judge John B. Stevens, Obama's only nominee in Texas, also withdrew his name in the Eastern District because of the lengthy confirmation process.
So far, the state Democrats and GOP senators haven't found candidates they both like in any of the other districts. In the Dallas-based Northern District, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is pushing assistant U.S. attorney Sarah Saldaña. Democrats want U.S. Magistrate Jeff Kaplan in the spot. And in the Southern district, the senators are standing firm behind career U.S. assistant attorney (and Republican) Ken Magidson.