Washington, D.C. — Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing for federal appeals court nominee David Stras despite the fact that one senator from his home state of Minnesota declined to support his nomination. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) has decided to overturn a century-old tradition known as the blue slip rule, which requires both home state senators to sign off on judicial nominees from their states. In response, Michele Jawando, vice president for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The Senate is already confirming President Trump’s judges at a record pace—three times the number of appellate court judges as former President Obama at this point. Now, Sen. Grassley has eliminated another Senate rule to push through even more of Trump’s nominees. Sen. Grassley’s decision came on the same day we learned that judicial nominee Brett Talley—who was nominated to the federal bench in Alabama—failed to disclose blog posts that, among other things, praised the “first KKK.”
Several of Trump’s nominees have come under fire during their confirmation hearings for doubts about their qualifications or discriminatory remarks about LGBT people. But none of these revelations led Sen. Grassley to reconsider his decision to end the blue slip rule. This longstanding tradition required some bipartisanship when it came to lifetime appointments to the federal bench, but senate leaders are rushing to rubber stamp President Trump’s nominees.
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