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White House Will Defer to Senate Protocol on Judicial Nominations

Image: White House Will Defer to Senate Protocol on Judicial Nominations
(AP)

By John Gizzi
Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 08:29 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Despite looming confirmation battles over at least two of President Donald Trump's nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the White House told Newsmax on Wednesday that it would defer to the Senate rather than ignore the standard procedure for lawmakers to veto judicial appointees.

Known as the "blue slip," this protocol allows senators a virtual veto on nominees to the federal bench from their respective home states. Since the "blue slip" process began in 1917, senators have either returned a blue piece of paper praising a home state judicial nominee, written a criticism, or not returned the slip at all.

A critical slip has frequently thwarted hearings on the nominee or doomed the nomination immediately.

Despite recent rumors the president would nominate candidates for the federal bench and ignore the blue slip procedure altogether, the White House said it would adhere to the century-old Senate tradition.

"[T]he White House is deferring to the Senate on this Senate procedure," deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Newsmax in response to our question about the "blue slip."

Sanders added that "we have multiple highly qualified nominees waiting for Senate hearings, and hope the Senate can start moving them along quickly."

She was referring to the nominations on May 8 of two state Supreme Court judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals: David Stras of Minnesota, who was named to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Joan Larsen of Michigan, named to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

None of the four Democratic senators from Michigan and Minnesota have returned a "blue slip" for either Stras or Larsen.

Both nominees were on Trump's famous list of prospective nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court that he released early in 2016. Both Stras and Larsen are considered potential candidates for the next vacancy on the high court.

The White House's deferral to the Senate on the "blue slip" question came days after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R.-Iowa, warned that he might seek to change the procedure for nominees to the Court of Appeals.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Despite looming confirmation battles over at least two of President Donald Trump's nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the White House told Newsmax on Wednesday that it would defer to the Senate...
white house, defer, senate, protocol, judicial, nominations
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2017-29-13
 

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