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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

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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

Sen. Feinstein: Protect Senate Power on Judicial Nominees
(Democrat - California) 09/25/17
An editorial memo with additional background on the history of the blue slip is available here [Link] “The blue slip is a Senate tradition that allows both home-state senators to have a say in which judges will serve in their states. It has been supported by Republicans and Democrats alike for 100 years, but it’s now in jeopardy by Senate Republicans who want to pack federal courts with Trump nominees. “Eliminating the blue slip would end cooperation between the executive and legislative branch on judicial nominees and remove any incentive for the White House to choose mainstream candidates.... no judicial nominee has been confirmed without two blue slips in nearly 30 years, and fewer than five times in the last 100 years. Not a single Obama nominee received even a hearing in the Judiciary Committee, let alone a floor vote, without both blue slips having been returned.... the Obama White House didn’t just consult with Democratic Senators—it also consulted extensively with Republican senators. For example, Senators Hatch and Lee recommended Carolyn McHugh for the Tenth Circuit. Senators Isakson and Chambliss recommend Julie Carnes for the Eleventh Circuit. ... We’ve seen a troubling trend thus far in the Trump administration—candidates meeting only with Republican senators before they’re chosen. “The result is a White House that refuses to consult with Democratic senators on judicial nominees, then accuses them of obstruction when they want to fully review the nominees’ records. And now, they are threatening to eliminate the blue slip."

Sen. Schumer on home-state Senator blue slips
(Democrat - New York) 09/20/17
“Now we have the circuit court, and the blue slip has always been recognized. I will be meeting with Senator McConnell, Senator Grassley, and the ranking Democrat on the committee, to make the case to hold the blue slips.”

Sen. Baldwin on Michael Brennan 7th Circuit nomination in disregard of Wisconsin bipartisan process
(Democrat - Wisconsin) 08/04/17
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."

Sen. Ron Johnson on Michael Brennan 7th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin) 08/04/17
A bipartisan state commission has made recommendations to Wisconsin's two senators on federal nominations since 1979. The senators take the commission's picks and forward them on to the White House for consideration. The six-member commission issued another call for applicants for the 7th Circuit opening in February. None of the applicants, including Brennan, garnered the requisite five votes to win a recommendation.... Johnson issued a statement praising Trump for choosing Brennan. "Our nation's judicial system will be well served once he is confirmed by the Senate," the statement said. A Johnson spokesman didn't immediately reply to a question about Baldwin's criticism of the pick breaking with Wisconsin tradition.