John Cornyn

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U.S. Senator

John Cornyn




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the TX-Senate Class II Seat:
(Next election: 4 November 2014)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the TX-Senate Class II Seat)
On the Web
Official website

John Cornyn III is the Junior Senator for the state of Texas. He is a Republican and was first elected in 2002.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Cornyn has been described 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.[1] Cornyn has scored 0% on the League of Conservation Voter's environmental scorecard during his tenure in the Senate, a system of ranking politicians according to their voting record on environmental legislation. [2]


On March 13, 2007, Cornyn and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National (OPEN) Government Act of 2007 (S.849). The Act is intended "to promote accessibility, accountability, openness in government by strengthening section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act)." The bill is also referred to as the Freedom of Information Reform Act of 2007. The bill contains more than a dozen substantive provisions designed to achieve the following four objectives:

  1. Strengthen FOIA and close loopholes
  2. Help FOIA requestors obtain timely responses to their requests
  3. Ensure that agencies have strong incentives to act on FOIA requests in a timely fashion
  4. Provide FOIA officials with all of the tools they need to ensure that our government remains open and accessible

The bill was blocked under an "anonymous hold" by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

Main article: OPEN Government Act of 2007


John Cornyn has voted in favor of big oil companies on 100% of important oil related bills from 2005-2007, according to Oil Change International. These bills include Iraq war funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and emissions.[1] See below for oil money in politics.

Abramoff/Casino investigation

On April 18, 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed Texas Public Information Act requests with both the Texas Office of the Attorney General and with the Texas Governor's Office to obtain information regarding contacts between Cornyn and lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, as well as for all documents related to the Tigua Tribe of El Paso, Texas.

CREW filed its requests in response to Sen. Cornyn's statement that he never met with Reed in regard to the Tigua casino. (Maria Recio, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) However, some believe email correspondence between Abramoff and Reed suggests otherwise.

On November 12, 2001, Reed sent Abramoff an e-mail message stating, "get me details so I can alert cornyn and let him know what we are doing to help him" [sic]. Similarly, on November 13, 2001, Reed wrote "I strongly suggest we start doing patch-throughs to perry and cornyn [sic]. We're getting killed on the phone." Also, on January 7, 2002, Reed sent Abramoff an e-mail stating "I think we should budget for an ataboy for cornyn" [sic].

When Cornyn ran for Senate, Abramoff contributed $1,000, the maximum amount legally allowed. The allegedly anti-gambling Cornyn also received $6,250 in contributions from Las Vegas casino interests who oppose Indian gaming, some of which were made at the same time Cornyn was pushing to close the Tigua's casino.

Judicial BINGO

In September 2005, during the Supreme Court hearings for John G. Roberts, Jr., Cornyn's staff passed out bingo cards to reporters, asking them to stamp their card every time a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee used terms such as "far right" or "extremist". [3]

After the withdrawal of the nomination of Harriet E. Miers to the Supreme Court, Cornyn was mentioned as a possible replacement nominee.

Court violence controversy

Cornyn has been active in criticizing what he calls "activist judges". Cornyn caused a controversy in the wake of several high-profile violent crimes and death threats against judges when he stated on the floor of the U.S. Senate on April 4, 2005, that "raw political or ideological decisions" by judges cause "great distress" in many people and wondered aloud if this "distress" was the cause of the violence.

Cornyn later retracted the remarks, arguing that they were taken out of context. [4] He argued that as a former judge himself, he was "outraged" by recent acts of violence against judges and undercut his original statement by saying "I'm not aware of any evidence whatsoever linking recent acts of courthouse violence to the various controversial rulings that have captured the nation's attention in recent years."

Executive power

In July 2006 Cornyn expressed opposition to a bill by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) that would allow Congress to file a lawsuit to get presidential signing statements declared unconstitutional, saying "I don’t see what the problem is."[5]

SKIL Act of 2007

The Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership Act, or the SKIL Bill, is targeted at increasing legal immigration of scientific, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers into the United States by increasing the quotas on the H-1B visa, eliminating green card caps for certain advanced degree holders, and streamlining the processing of employment-based green cards.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Senate version of the SKIL Bill (S. 1083) on April 10, 2007.

As of April 2007, the SKIL Bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Main article: SKIL Act of 2007


Born February 2, 1952, Cornyn graduated from Trinity University and later earned his J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law. Cornyn also earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1995.

After serving six years as a District Court Judge in San Antonio, Texas, he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1990 and re-elected in 1996. Cornyn resigned from the Texas Supreme Court in 1997 to run for the office of attorney general of Texas. When elected, he became the first Republican to win the position since Reconstruction. He left that post for his successful Senate run.

In 2005 Cornyn's name was floated among possibilities to replace Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O'Connor or William H. Rehnquist.

In September 2005, 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. [6]

Following the 2006 midterm elections, Cornyn was selected vice-chair of the Senate Republican Conference for the 110th Congress.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Votesane PAC$ 63,250
Exxon Mobil$ 56,900
AT&T Inc$ 56,800
Valero Energy$ 52,150
Blackstone Group$ 49,500
USAA$ 49,100
Energy Transfer Equity$ 45,600
Goldman Sachs$ 45,000
Elliott Management$ 42,850
JPMorgan Chase & Co$ 40,850
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for John Cornyn
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Oil and Coal Money in Politics

John Cornyn has received $576,550 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $140,300 of those dollars were from industry PACS. In total, Cornyn has accepted $1,404,275 from oil companies since from 2000 to 2008, which makes him one of the top recipients of oil money. In addition to oil money, Cornyn has accepted $54,400 in coal contributions during the 110th congress. $47,000 of those dollars were from industry PACS.[2]

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on John Cornyn. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 517 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-2934 Fax: 202-228-2856
    Webform email
District offices
  • Bank One Building, 221 West Sixth Street, Suite 1530, Austin, TX 78701
    Ph: 512-469-6034 Fax: (none entered)
  • Occidental Tower, 5005 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, Suite 1150, Dallas, TX 75244
    Ph: 972-239-1310 Fax: (none entered)
  • Bank of America Building, 222 East Van Buren, Suite 404, Harlingen, TX 78550
    Ph: 956-423-0162 Fax: (none entered)
  • 5300 Memorial Drive, Suite 980, Houston, TX 77007
    Ph: 713-572-3337 Fax: (none entered)
  • 3405 22nd Street, Suite 203, Lubbock, TX 79410
    Ph: 806-472-7533 Fax: (none entered)
  • 600 Navarro, Suite 210, San Antonio, TX 78205
    Ph: 210-224-7485 Fax: (none entered)
  • Bank One Building, 100 East Ferguson Street, Suite 1004, Tyler, TX 75702
    Ph: 903-593-0902 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.


John Cornyn posts on Twitter at

Latest posts:

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Articles and resources


  1. Vote Tracker, Oil Change International.
  2. See "Follow the Oil Money," "Follow the Coal Money," and vote tracker from Oil Change International and Appalachian Voices.


Articles by John Cornyn


Related SourceWatch Resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

Semantic data (Edit data)