Saturday, 21 October, 2017

McConnell: Democratic 'blue slips' won't block Trump judges

Conservative leaders call on Mc Connell to resign over legislative gridlock Camille Fine
Sammy Stanley | 12 October, 2017, 05:35

"Regardless of what tactics are used by Democrats, the judges are going to be confirmed", he said.

And every GOP senator, including McConnell and Grassley, sent a letter to President Obama in 2009 warning that if they weren't consulted, and didn't approve of, nominees from their home states they wouldn't let them move forward.

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the rest of GOP leadership in the Senate step down due to their failure to follow through with a conservative agenda over the past year of full Republican control of the government, Fox News' Alex Pappas reports.

Politico reported that a second organization, the Conservative Action Project, is pushing McConnell to end the practice of having the Senate's weekend start Thursday afternoon so that more time can be taken to focus on confirming nominees.

In his interview with the Weekly Standard, parts of which were published Wednesday, McConnell stressed that the use of "blue slips" - named after the piece of paper senators from a potential federal judge's state must sign to indicate their approval - is a custom, not a rule, and that the use of them will no longer be enforced.

The blue slip is a tradition in which U.S. senators can give or withhold their blessing for a judicial nominee from their state. Without the blue slip, nominees are not given a vote in the Judiciary Committee.

Andrew Wiggins' contract extension details revealed
Wiggins and the Wolves have been expected to agree to terms on this deal for quite some time, and now it's official. There are rules in place that protect agents and Duffy hinted at agent tampering right after being let go.

"Chairman Grassley has told me he will respect the blue slip tradition, just as I did", said former Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

Though McConnell's job is not seen by Republican senators to be in any immediate jeopardy, the mounting attacks he is facing, which at times have come from Trump himself, have raised questions about his standing in the party.

Also troubling is the Republican insistence that Democrats are "obstructing" votes on these nominations, as claimed in a recent press release from the Senate Majority Leader's office.

"The Senate has fewer and fewer mechanisms that create bipartisanship and bring people to an agreement". A Congressional Research Service report noted that "since 1979, the impact of negative blue slips has varied as leadership in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary has changed". The blue slip process represents more than simply a longstanding practice: it's a way for senators to protect their constituents from extremism and cronyism. Dems plead for nursing home residents" right to sue Crying on TV doesn't qualify Kimmel to set nation's gun agenda Trump knocks "fake' news coverage of his trip to Puerto Rico MORE (D-N.Y.) said.

Trump now has 149 vacancies to fill in the federal court system, with nominees already named for 50 of those spots. For example, since John Kelly became White House chief of staff, there has been neither a secretary nor a deputy secretary leading the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "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".

McConnell and others complain Democrats are abusing the practice by not returning the blue slips to bottle up the nominees. 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. And Grassley has argued that the Senate should stay in session longer - including skipping the current week-long break - to get more work done.

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