White House wants to ig­nore blue slips

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Alex Swoyer

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.

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