Ending blue slips frees up 9 judicial nominees from blue states, but what about the other 35 red state nominees and the 10 who have already cleared the Judiciary Committee?

Oct. 11, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to end the so-called “blue slip” process that can block judicial nominees from receiving Senate Judiciary Committee consideration:

“We are encouraged that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ending the archaic blue slip process that allows Senators to arbitrarily block judges from their home states from receiving Senate Judiciary Committee consideration. This move should free up about 9 judicial nominees from states with Democrat senators to be considered by the committee, assuming they were all blue-slipped. However, there are presently 10 judicial nominees who have already cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and other relevant committees who are simply awaiting floor action. And then there’s another 35 judicial nominees from red states with only Republican senators who couldn’t have possibly been blue slipped by Senate Democrats, for which there is no ready excuse for why they have not gotten moving through the process.

“Either way, to keep pace with the modern historical average of Presidents filling about 163 federal judicial vacancies per term, the Senate will need to speedily confirm all of the President’s 54 pending judicial picks. It’s time to get the process moving. One of the reasons Republicans rallied to President Trump in 2016 was because he said he would even the balance of federal courts away from Democrat control. With a Republican Senate, no more judicial filibuster and no more binding blue slips, there is simply no reason this process should be all gummed up.

“Ending the blue slip process is a good first step by McConnell. He should follow up by killing any other Senate rules in due speed that slow down floor consideration of nominees and otherwise get this process moving.”

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