In the Senate, a blue slip is an opinion written by a Senator from the state where a federal judicial nominee resides. A single home-state Senator could stop all committee action on a judicial nominee by either returning a negative blue slip or failing to return a blue slip to the committee. While considered a block, a negative blue slip or the non-return of a blue slip might have a negative effect on a nomination, it is not necessarily the death of a nomination. McConnell has used them in the past, so Democrats are howling. I guess elections have consequences, eh?
As Written By Cortney O’Brien for Townhall:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as I wrote Thursday, is considering ending the blue slip process for judicial nominees. The blue slip allows senators to block the president’s nominees. Dozens of Democrats have now chosen to withhold their blue slips, most recently Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, and McConnell is ready to make it merely a symbolic gesture.
The New York Times editorial board are now accusing the Senate leader of hypocrisy, reminding readers that back when he was in the minority party, McConnell was happy to employ the use of blue slips.
Republican senators exploited their blue slips with abandon, and with little or no explanation. One senator blocked a nominee because she had once said the Constitution did not protect an individual right to bear arms — an accurate description of the uncertainty about the law at the time. Other senators blocked nominees they had previously approved for other courts, or even recommended to the White House themselves. In all, 18 of Mr. Obama’s judicial nominees were scuttled, including six to the Courts of Appeals. That’s not counting dozens more vacancies that languished for years without a nominee because senators made it clear they would object to anyone.
“It’s particularly rich, if not surprising,” for McConnell to now wanting to upend the blue slip system, the editors add.
The NYT goes on to acknowledge that Democrats are now engaging in the same form of obstructionism. However, the difference is that the Democrats supposedly have …….
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