Judiciary war escalates: McConnell gives blue slips a pink slip


He has said he is planning to support a slate of insurgent Republican Senate challengers in 2018 against incumbents loyal to McConnell, just as he did in Alabama, where former judge Roy Moore defeated Sen.

Senate Majority Leader says judicial nominees... Perhaps the Judiciary Committee chairman is deferring to his Leader so that the Kentuckian can get credit for clearing the way for Trump's nominees; he could certainly use some political capital among the conservatives who are more often than not calling for his head.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, added that the comments in The Weekly Standard interview were a reflection of "the Leader's well-known public position on the matter". Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said that the senator has a tradition of using blue slips, and "expects senators and the president to continue engaging in consultation when selecting judicial nominees".

"The majority"-that is, Republicans-will treat a blue slip "as simply notification of how you're going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball", McConnell told me".

"The objective of the blue slip is to ensure consultation between the White House and home-state senators on judicial nominees from their states". "In 2015, Chairman Grassley wrote that 'over the years, Judiciary Committee chairs of both parties have upheld a blue-slip process, including [Leahy], my immediate predecessor, who steadfastly honored the tradition even as some in his own party called for its demise".

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McConnell has come under assault from conservatives over his leadership of the Senate, which has failed to repeal the so-called Obamacare health law and has fallen into a comfortable work routine that most of the time permits senators to arrive in Washington on Monday afternoon and hop on planes home by mid-afternoon on Thursday.

McConnell has signaled that the Senate will devote more floor time to processing judges as the battle over the blue slip issue percolates. Maybe Grassley hadn't made up his mind about blue slips, and McConnell chose to force the issue.

"The Senate has fewer and fewer mechanisms that create bipartisanship and bring people to an agreement". They contrast that with the longer hours the Senate worked under Sen.

It's true, the blue-slip tradition isn't all that hallowed.

As we have noted on this page many times, the only significant legislative accomplishment the GOP can point to in 2017 is the confirmation of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are 149 judicial vacancies right now, compared to the 108 Trump started the year with. "The Republicans control the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate". "We urge the Senate to take its role seriously, and act with haste to confirm the individuals that President Trump has selected to assist him in carrying out his mandate". "Franken's decision not to return a blue slip, as was always done when Republican senators didn't return blue slips on President Obama's nominees", Feinstein said in a statement last month. With Democratic Senator Al Franken asserting the right to veto a circuit-court judge from Minnesota, and both Democratic senators from OR objecting to another nominee from their state, push will soon come to shove. Democrats no longer have the ability to filibuster any nominees, judicial or executive. And Grassley has argued that the Senate should stay in session longer - including skipping the current week-long break - to get more work done.