McConnell promises to speed pace on judicial nominees

by Abel Hampton October 13, 2017, 0:08
McConnell promises to speed pace on judicial nominees

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a lot of heat from conservatives for moving too slowly and ineptly on the Trump agenda, and for being a stodgy, Establishment figure.

At the press conference, several of the letter's signatories offered suggestions for different Republican Senators to take McConnell's place as majority leader, but there was not a consensus pick.

Grassley has been careful not to tip his hand on the looming fight.

He added that "we hope that Chairman Grassley, who has always believed in the traditions of the Senate, will resist Senator McConnell's request". But McConnell's remarks on Wednesday set off alarm bells among top Democrats and allied outside groups. The use of blue slips, he noted, is not a Senate rule and has "been honored in the breach over the years". As recently as mid-September, Grassley was expressing public ambivalence over the future of the so-called "blue slip" tradition (based on the century-old practice of home-state senators indicating approval or disapproval of proposed judges from their state via a blue piece of paper), which Republicans used aggressively to block Barack Obama's judges.

"The Senate has fewer and fewer mechanisms that create bipartisanship and bring people to an agreement", said Schumer, a New York Democrat.

It's true, the blue-slip tradition isn't all that hallowed. Or quite possibly, Grassley's not onboard with this step, and McConnell is lobbying him through the news media and the various conservative groups who will rush to applaud it.

Since Trump was inaugurated, judicial vacancies have grown from 106 to 149.

I can not read Foy's quoted statement, however, without thinking that the use of the blue slip to block the the Stras nomination represents a "case" of "abuse" by Minnesota's own Al Franken.

And Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) are pledging they will not return their slips for Ryan Bounds, Trump's 9th Circuit pick, or "any other nominee that has not been selected through our judicial process". "Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to President Ronald Reagan's attorney general Edwin Meese, is urging Mr. McConnell to stop allowing the chamber to bolt for the weekend on Thursday afternoons and to concentrate on confirming nominees at the end of every week".

"The campaign, including the advertising, is in a holding pattern for now because Leader McConnell's office has reached out and wants to have discussions about how best to proceed in the coming months in order to avoid the kind of judicial confirmations bottleneck that the groups are concerned about", a Judicial Crisis Network spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.

So far the Judiciary Committee has held hearings for 24 of Trump's nominees, with a hearing for an additional five scheduled next week.


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