Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

Search This Blog

Friday, November 17, 2017

"Blue Slip" Power to Stop Judge Nominees Weakens

The "blue slip" tradition allows a home-state senator to stop a president's nominee for the federal bench by the senator refusing to return a sheet of paper, known as a blue slip, to the Judiciary Committee.

Nevertheless, current Judiciary Chair Grassley said from the Senate floor “the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing for two circuit court nominees, each of whom has one home state senator who has not returned a blue slip containing a positive endorsement.” He has scheduled Nov. 29 hearings for David Stras, Trump’s nomination to be an appellate judge on the 8th Circuit, and for Kyle Duncan, nominated to serve the 5th Circuit.

According to the Hill, “A blue slip policy allowing a single senator to block a nominee from even receiving Committee consideration is a more extreme example of a counter-majoritarian practice,” said a memo released earlier this month by Grassley’s staff.

Politico quotes Grassley: “The Democrats seriously regret that they abolished the filibuster, as I warned them they would, but they can’t expect to use the blue slip courtesy in its place. That’s not what the blue slip is meant for.”