Chuck Grassley takes his duties as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committe very seriously, which is why he is putting an end to the century-old tradition of “blue slips” for federal judicial nominees; in the past, a senator from the home state where a new federal judge would serve would have to sign off on the nominee before he (or even she!) got a hearing, giving senators a measure of input over who’d be administering federal law in their states. Grassley is so over blue slips:
blocked by Al Franken because Franken objected to Stras being chosen by the rightwing Federalist Society instead of by a committee of members of the Minnesota legal community. Plus, Stras is a loon who once complained that the Supreme Court had meddled in all sorts of matters it shouldn’t have, “contentious areas of social policy — such as school integration, abortion, and homosexual rights.” You know how contentious the integration is, you know. But damned if Chuck Grassley will allow a president’s judicial nominees to be held up purely for political reasons:
The Iowa Republican announced Thursday that he is going ahead with a confirmation hearing for a nominee to the powerful appellate courts despite the objections of a Democrat who had been blocking the nomination for months.
“I won’t allow the White House to just steamroll home-state senators,” Grassley said. “But, as I’ve said all along, I won’t allow the blue slip process to be abused. I won’t allow senators to prevent a Committee hearing for political or ideological reasons.”
And somewhere in the distance, Neil Gorsuch barked.