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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Sounding off: BLUE SLIPS AND BIPARTISANSHIP  (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review [PA] , 09/23/17)
Letter to the Editor by Glenn Sugameli, founder and head since 2001 of Judging the Environment , a nonpartisan federal judicial nominations project: All Senate Republicans supported blue slips in a 2009 letter, as did a 2015 Des Moines Register op-ed and a 2016 post-election statement from Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Grassley “told me he was going to follow the same procedures as chairman” and “has never broken his word to me” over three decades. In a 2014 op-ed titled “Protect the Senate's important ‘advice and consent' role,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, stressed that “The blue slip process ... has greatly enhanced consultation and cooperation between home state senators and the White House. ... Weakening or eliminating the blue slip process would sweep aside the last remaining check on the president's judicial appointment power. Anyone serious about the Senate's constitutional ‘advice and consent' role knows how disastrous such a move would be … ultimately produc(ing) a more politicized federal judiciary.”

McConnell calls for ending Senate tradition that gives Democrats leverage on Trump's judicial nominees (Business Insider, 09/13/17)
Allan Smith: While the denial of a blue slip does not prevent a judge from being approved, Glenn Sugameli, an attorney who is an expert on judicial nominations, told Business Insider in an email last week that "no circuit court nominees have been confirmed over [a blue slip] objection of one (or two) home-state senators — including under Obama."

LAW: Liberals hammer Grassley on lower-court nominees  (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 04/07/16)
"Several dozen groups including [Defenders of Wildlife and other] environmentalists, labor organizations and civil rights advocates sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today, pressing him to take action on seven federal appeals court nominees and dozens of nominees for federal district courts. ... "While a great deal of public attention has rightly been focused on the pending nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, vacancies on the lower courts must not be lost amidst the debate," says the letter sent by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 42 other organizations. Many of the nominees "would fill seats in districts that are currently facing judicial emergencies," the letter says. Many of those nominees come from states where both senators have indicated their approval, the letter says, which should normally "clear the way for hearings and up-or-down confirmation votes. Instead, these nominees have fallen victim to election-year gamesmanship." The seven appeals court nominees are Rebecca Haywood for the 3rd Circuit, Lisabeth Hughes for the 6th Circuit, Donald Schott and Myra Selby for the 7th Circuit, Jennifer Puhl for the 8th Circuit, Lucy Koh for the 9th Circuit, and Abdul Kallon for the 11th Circuit. "The Committee has a constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent on presidential nominees, and a duty to the American people to simply do its job. In the coming weeks and months, our organizations will continue to make the case until it does," the groups wrote."

BREAKING -- Judge Abdul K. Kallon nominated to 11th Circuit (Southern District of Florida Blog, 02/11/16)
This is big news. The nomination comes out of Alabama to fill Judge Dubina's seat. This would be the first African American judge to serve on the 11th Circuit out of Alabama. ... (H/T Glenn Sugameli).