Schumer urges Se­nate Ju­di­ciary chair to buck McCon­nell and up­hold blue slips

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Alex Swoyer

Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles E. Schumer put pres­sure Wednesday on the GOP chair­man of the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee to re­tain the “blue slip” process that could give Democrats a path to scut­tle some of the pres­i­dent’s ju­di­cial nom­i­nees.

Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, told Sen. Charles Grass­ley, the chair­man, to re­sist calls to de-pri­or­i­tize the blue slip process — in­clud­ing sug­ges­tions from the Se­nate’s top Repub­li­can, Sen. Mitch McCon­nell.

“The Se­nate has fewer and fewer mech­a­nisms that cre­ate bi­par­ti­san­ship and bring peo­ple to an agree­ment. The blue slips are one of them,” said Mr. Schumer in a press re­lease on Wednesday.

Un­der a Se­nate tra­di­tion, un­less both home­s­tate se­na­tors re­turn their blue slips sig­nal­ing ac­qui­es­cence, the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee usu­ally won’t pro­ceed with a nom­i­na­tion. The tra­di­tion is in­tended to en­cour­age home-state con­sul­ta­tion, but it has be­come a sort of soft fil­i­buster for both par­ties, who have used it to stymie nom­i­nees of pres­i­dents of both par­ties.

“My per­sonal view is that the blue slip, with re­gard to cir­cuit court ap­point­ments, ought to sim­ply be a no­ti­fi­ca­tion of how you’re going to vote, not the op­por­tu­nity to black­ball,” Mr. McCon­nell said last month about the prac­tice.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Sen. Charles E. Schumer told Sen. Charles Grass­ley to re­sist calls to de-pri­or­i­tize the blue slip process.

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