Grassley schedules hearings for two appellate judicial nominees despite blue-slip objections


Chuck Grassley

Screenshot of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is scheduling hearings for two nominees to federal appeals courts despite blue-slip opposition.

Grassley said Thursday he would schedule hearings for David Stras, nominated to the St, Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Kyle Duncan, nominated to the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, report the Hill, Politico and BuzzFeed News. How Appealing links to additional coverage.

The blue-slip practice requires consent from home state senators, traditionally on a blue slip of paper, before the Senate Judiciary Committee proceeds with a federal judicial nomination.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has said he won’t return a blue slip supporting Stras because of concerns he will be “a deeply conservative” judge. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., has said he is undecided on Duncan but he doesn’t oppose a hearing.

Grassley said the Democrats should not be using blue slips to replace the filibuster, which the Democrats had themselves abolished.

He added that he is less likely to proceed when a district court nominee is opposed by two home state senators. “But circuit courts cover multiple states,” he said. “There’s less reason to defer to the views of a single state’s senator for such nominees.”

Related article: “Senate Majority Leader says judicial nominees should be confirmed absent blue-slip approval”

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