The latest evidence that Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton plans a run for the U.S. Senate in 2014 was the freshman Republican's introduction of legislation to eliminate three positions on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Cotton offered his "Stop Court Packing Act" on Tuesday, the same day that President Barack Obama nominated three judges to fill empty slots on the court.
Cotton's legislation caught political eyes from Little Rock to Washington because the House plays no role in nominations by the President and because the 36-year-old Iraq War vet is not a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
His act — the companion bill to one offered by veteran Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa — has no House co-sponsor so far, although Cotton says he will be looking for backers.
"This kind of thing is a way to earn the kind of stripes that guarantee a big investment in him by the Republican Party and its allies," Janine Parry, political scientist at the University of Arkansas, told the Arkansas Gazette.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators facing the voters next year. Conservatives have sworn revenge on the two-termer for his votes in favor of Obamacare and the stimulus package, while gun-control advocates led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have denounced his opposition to background checks for gun owners.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax
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