GOP Senate leaders consider changing ‘blue slip’ practice for appeals judges


Senate blue slip

A Senate blue slip from 1917. Wikimedia Commons.


Republican leaders in the Senate are considering a change in the “blue slip” practice that requires consent from home state senators before the Senate Judiciary Committee proceeds with a federal judicial nomination.

Blue-slip acquiescence would no longer be needed for federal appeals judges, but it would be left in place for district court judges, senators told the Hill and the Washington Post.

Republicans threatened to make the change if Democrats erect blanket opposition to judicial nominees, according to the Post.

The Senate on Thursday approved President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar of Kentucky. There was no blue-slip impediment to Thapar’s nomination because both of Kentucky’s senators are Republican, according to the Post.

But U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pointed out that the 6th Circuit judgeship was open because of a blue-slip objection to then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Tabor Hughes.

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