The End of the Blue Slip


Senators traded rhetorical shots on Wednesday after tensions over the issue - which have been simmering for months - appeared to spill over.

McConnell told the Weekly Standard that Republicans will treat blue slips "as simply notification of how you're going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball".

The Senate Judiciary Committee now requires both home-state senators of a judicial nominee to turn in a blue slip ― literally, a blue piece of paper ― to signal support for moving forward with the nominee. He needs to decide whether he'll stand by his longstanding support of the blue slip process and his word of honor to Senator Leahy, or if he'll let himself be bullied by Senator McConnell. "If you mean he's not announcing a committee position, then yes, he's not announcing a committee position".

The blue slip tradition has been upheld by both parties for the past century, with only rare examples of judges making it to the bench without the blessing of both home state senators - the last time it happened was 1989. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.).

USA Today said this is "shaping up as the Republican Party's "most serious political rupture in years", but Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, a longshot in the 2018 Republican primary, said he agrees McConnell should go".

"The Senate has fewer and fewer mechanisms that create bipartisanship and bring people to an agreement". They can't afford to slip up, blue or not.

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.

The article's author, Fred Barnes, wrote that that means the blue slip rule now "won't be honored at all".

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Trump now has 149 vacancies to fill in the federal court system, with nominees already named for 50 of those spots.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on October 3.

McConnell's inability to pass a bill in his chamber to repeal and replace the ACA like the Republican-controlled House did has made him a target of criticism from a growing number of Republicans.

Democratic Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's 12:30 Report John Oliver rips AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (D-Minn.) has said he will not return a blue slip for Trump's nominee for the 8th Circuit, David Stras.

To that end, the conservative movement calls on the Senate leadership to IMMEDIATELY schedule committee and floor action every Thursday and Friday for the foreseeable future to act on President Trump's nominees ... and to begin working a full week, EVERY week, until all nominations have been acted upon. They did away with the 60-vote filibuster for lower-court nominees when they held the majority in 2013, and Republicans followed suit by ending the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees earlier this year.

"This should be, and has historically been, the decision of the chair, and Chuck Grassley has been trying to be as fair as possible", said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who specializes in judicial nominations. And Grassley has argued that the Senate should stay in session longer - including skipping the current week-long break - to get more work done.

In a statement, Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley, 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".