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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Michael B. Brennan

Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Nominated August 3, 2017

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) used his home-state "blue slip" veto to block hearings for President Obama's Wisconsin Seventh Circuit nominee Victoria F. Nourseand Louis Butler, Jr. (W.D. Wis.) 

Obama nominated Donald K. Schott of Wisconsin to the 7th Circuit on January 12, 2016 to fill a more than six year old vacancy, the longest for any Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination never received a Floor vote despite a bipartisan 13-7 Senate Judiciary Committee vote on June 16, 2016.

Schott was recommended by the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission, which was established by Sens Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

Sen. Baldwin on Michael Brennan 7th Circuit nomination in disregard of Wisconsin bipartisan process
(Democrat - Wisconsin08/04/17 
The president’s nomination bypassed the state’s Federal Nominating Commission, which was established in Wisconsin in 1979 by U.S. Sens. William Proxmire and Gaylord Nelson. Since then, the state’s U.S. senators have used the commission to recommend to the president judicial nominees for every U.S. attorney and federal judicial vacancy. Current U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson renewed their commitment to utilizing the six-member commission earlier this year. On Friday, Baldwin said Trump’s nomination showed "complete disregard for a bipartisan process." "President Trump has decided to go it alone and turn his back on a Wisconsin tradition of having a bipartisan process for nominating judges," Baldwin said. "I am extremely troubled that President (Trump) has taken a partisan approach that disrespects our Wisconsin process."

Senator Feinstein, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member: Setting the record straight on judicial nominees and blue slip
(Democrat - California) 09/25/17 
Editorial memo on history of the blue slip and consultation with home-state Senators on judicial nominees

10 Things You Need To Know About Blue Slips: Republicans repeatedly used the tradition to block President Obama’s judicial nominees. (Huffington Post, 09/13/17) Christopher Kang, Former Deputy Counsel to President Obama

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