Elder Patriot – Thanks to Democrat overreach during the Obama years, President Trump has been filling federal judicial vacancies at a record shattering pace.
The door was left ajar for Trump to barge his conservative judicial nominations through because in 2013 Democrats used their marginal control of the Senate to change the 225-year-old confirmation rules to require only a simple majority. Judicial nominees had previously required 60 votes for confirmation.
At that time Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley admonished Democrats warning them they would come to regret their actions sometime in the future. That time has come and Grassley let them know it.
This has elevated Grassley to a major ally in helping President Trump advance his appointments to the court.
Democrats are now crying foul claiming that a century-old tradition called the blue slip should be sufficient to block nominations. That dog don’t hunt.
The blue slip was created in 1917 as a courtesy to the nominees’ hometown senators for them to return indicating their approval or to withhold denoting their disapproval. That would be the signal to launch hearings or to grind the nomination to a halt.
That was back in more cordial times. Those courtesies no longer apply and the Dems have only themselves to blame.
There is no Senate rule requiring leadership to respect blue slips and Grassley has made that abundantly clear now that he holds the hammer:
“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. … The Democrats seriously regret that they abolished the filibuster, as I warned them they would. But they can’t expect to use the blue slip courtesy in its place. That’s not what the blue slip is meant for.”
“I’ll add that I’m less likely to proceed on a district court nominee who does not have two positive blue slips from home state. But circuit courts cover multiple states. There’s less reason to defer to the views of a single state’s senator for such nominees.”
Democratic power has long resided in the activist judges like the ones who have usurped President Trump’s Constitutional authority to decide federal immigration policy that is solidly based in existing federal law.
Grassley is proving to be a major Trump ally as the president efforts to return the courts to their proper balance in relation to the other branches of government.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, explained the significance of this, “When the history books are written about the Trump administration, the legacy will be the men and women confirmed to the trial bench.”