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Conservative groups demand McConnell step down, call him a 'failure'

Conservative groups demand McConnell step down, call him a 'failure'

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.

The Weekly Standard reported Wednesday that McConnell said in an interview that Democrats would no longer be allowed to use the rule to deny some of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees a committee hearing or a vote. His refusal to return a so-called "blue slip" on Stras has effectively scuttled the nomination under Senate rules. The criticism has also overlooked McConnell's crucial role in the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch, a key to preserving a balanced and perhaps - at some point - a conservative-tilting Supreme Court. Republicans routinely used blue slips to block President Barack Obama's judicial nominees, even when it meant blocking people they had originally recommended to Obama (looking at you, Marco Rubio of Florida and Richard Burr of North Carolina).

"The campaign, including the advertising, is in a holding pattern for now because Leader McConnell's office has reached out and wants to have discussions about how best to proceed in the coming months in order to avoid the kind of judicial confirmations bottleneck that the groups are concerned about", a Judicial Crisis Network spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.

The United States Senate behaves as though there are no time limits and no urgency to these matters.

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. According to the official site for United States Courts, there are now 149 vacancies.

And, in further evidence of the growing unrest, the article reveals that "the Conservative Action Project, a coalition spanning from former Sen".

"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.




His comments are a dramatic expansion of a Republican campaign to pull back on blue slip authority.

McConnell is under tremendous pressure from conservative groups to do more to confirm Trump's judges.

A review of the numbers regarding judicial openings offers a stark reminder of how Washington works (or doesn't work): "The Senate has confirmed just seven judges this year, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch". McConnell's aides contacted the group to defuse the situation, per Politico. Though President Trump has been slow to name a number of executive nominees, his White House has been sending dozens of judicial nominees to the Senate, and the Senate can't keep up. McConnell told Barnes that he can make that work, presumably by scheduling the Senate for continuous session and forcing Democrats to spend their debate time on the graveyard shift.

Congratulations to Leader McConnell and Chairman Chuck Grassley (who surely approved this move) for ending an anachronism of Senatorial privilege in favor of majority rule. They seem modest but are likely to speed up the confirmation of both appeals and district court judges-conservatives, for the most part.

When nominees "come out of committee, I guarantee they will be dealt with", he said.

Thanks to a rules change that the Senate adopted when Democrats were the majority in that chamber, it only takes 50 votes to confirm federal judges. It also only takes 51 votes to clear a filibuster for those nominees.


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