Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

John Cornyn

Cornyn a 'peacemaker' as GOP rift on criminal justice widens

A widening Republican rift over revamping the nation's criminal justice system is dashing hopes for overhaul in the final year of President Barack Obama's tenure despite strong bipartisan support and a concerted effort by the second-ranking GOP senator.

As one of the issue's top advocates in Congress, John Cornyn of Texas faces reluctance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, opposition from home-state Senate colleague and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and reservations from several GOP senators, who expressed their concerns at a closed-door meeting last week.

As opposition has grown, Cornyn is lowering expectations for election-year success.