Don’t say we didn’t warn you, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, informed Democrats at a rocky Senate Judiciary assembly final week.
When Democrats blew up the 225-year-old judicial affirmation guidelines in 2013, Grassley mentioned they’d remorse it. Now, 4 years later, the left is discovering out simply how proper he was.
Sure, clearing the way in which for a easy majority to rubber-stamp the president’s judges appeared like a good suggestion on the time. But now that the shoe is on the opposite foot, liberals abruptly discover themselves on the flawed facet of the identical course of they manipulated.
President Donald Trump definitely doesn’t thoughts. He’s been filling bench vacancies at lightning velocity, shattering information set in a lot much less partisan instances.
Now, left with out the one weapon that might cease a affirmation—the filibuster—Democrats are greedy for something to place the brakes on this high-speed practice of nominees. What they’ve settled on is a century-old custom born out of frequent courtesy: the blue slip.
Dating again to 1917, if a president nominated somebody to the Senate, committee chairmen would ship an analysis type of types to the particular person’s hometown senators. They may return it, signaling their willingness to carry a listening to, or withhold it—normally grinding the progress on that nomination to a halt.
Desperate for leverage, liberal senators like Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., have tried to make use of these blue slips because the obstructionist methodology du jour.
There’s only one drawback: The apply has by no means been an official Senate rule. Instead, it’s extra of a gentlemanly settlement to present deference to the 2 leaders who could know the particular person in query finest.
So whereas senators have taken to withholding their blue slips in protest, there’s nothing stopping Grassley from shifting ahead with out them.
And on Thursday, he promised to just do that. The longtime conservative introduced to his colleagues that his persistence has formally run out.
“As I’ve mentioned all alongside, I gained’t permit the blue slip course of to be abused. I gained’t permit senators to stop a committee listening to for political or ideological causes. … The Democrats severely remorse that they abolished the filibuster, as I warned them they’d. But they’ll’t count on to make use of the blue slip courtesy instead. That’s not what the blue slip is supposed for.”
The custom was by no means created, Grassley went on, to be a home-state veto. And after Thanksgiving, he refuses to deal with it like one.
When the Senate flies again from turkey day, the Iowa Republican has already introduced his plan to maneuver on eighth and fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominees David Stras and Kyle Duncan.
“I’ll add that I’m much less more likely to proceed on a district court docket nominee who doesn’t have two optimistic blue slips from residence state. But circuit courts cowl a number of states. There’s much less purpose to defer to the views of a single state’s senator for such nominees.”
For Trump, Grassley has been an ideal associate in conducting what most voters agreed was certainly one of their largest priorities: reshaping the federal judiciary.
“When the historical past books are written concerning the Trump administration, the legacy would be the women and men confirmed to the trial bench,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, defined. And when that occurs, among the credit score will virtually definitely belong to leaders like Chuck Grassley.
This was initially revealed in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the help of Family Research Council senior writers.
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