John Cornyn of Texas to replace James B. Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Whoever is selected is appointed to a 10-year term, although they can be removed by the president.
The petition said Cornyn's backing of DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, among other things, showed that he supported "discriminatory policies and politicians". Previously, White House officials said he was acting on the recommendation of the top Justice Department officials, particularly a memo from Rosenstein that had criticised Comey for his handling of the investigation into former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
Multiple Republican senators said in recent days that whoever is nominated should not be a partisan politician but a figure detached from legislative work in Washington.
Among the candidates, Trump will meet with 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate-turned-independent Joe Lieberman, a former senator who supported Republican Sen.
As majority whip, Cornyn is the second ranking Republican in the Senate behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"We, along with Senator Cornyn, agree that the primary focus of commencement should be a celebration of academic achievement", the statement said.
At this point, it's far from a sure-thing strategy - while there is no shortage of Republicans who have expressed problems with how and when James Comey was sacked from the FBI's top spot, there has been no rush to embrace Democratic calls for a special counsel.
Were he chosen, Cornyn would be stepping onto history's stage at a crucial juncture in the Trump presidency.
Instead, DeVos had to raise her voice as she thanked mothers who attended the ceremony.
Cornyn aides told the Chronicle that the senator "respects the Administration's decision and looks forward to continuing to engage with the University in the future".
Texas Southern University is one of the largest historically black universities in the country and confers the fourth-largest number of doctoral and professional degrees to African Americans. On the Republican side, obvious potential candidates for appointment or election would be Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner George P. Bush and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who toyed with running against Sen. But when Fox News broke a short list of people who would be interviewing for the job with Cornyn on it, the speculation broke in two ways.
Efforts to reach both of them were not successful Friday night.