White House wants to ignore blue slips
President Trump is standing by his nominee to fill a seat on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, despite a blockade by Sen. Al Franken, who is using the Senate’s arcane “blue slip” policy to try to sink the pick, an administration official said Wednesday.
Mr. Franken, flexing a Senate tradition that gives home-state senators a say in judicial picks, refused to return his blue slip for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras. Under the usual practice, that would derail the nominee.
But the administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they’re hoping either Mr. Franken relents or Senate Republicans proceed with the nomination anyway, notwithstanding the blue slip policy.
“The administration stands behind Justice Stras and remains fully committed to his nomination to the 8th Circuit,” the official told The Washington Times.
The stance marks an escalation in the judicial battle, where Democrats, left without ability to use a minority filibuster, are searching for ways to block judicial picks they deem too conservative.
Mr. Franken said he opposed Justice Stras because he said he looks to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the late Justice Antonin Scalia as role models.