WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on the Senate’s blue slip process for the nomination of federal judges.
“I’m disappointed in the Majority Leader’s apparent willingness to end the Senate’s blue slip tradition, which empowers Senators to help to determine which judges are nominated for their local federal judgeships. The blue slip process ensures consensus in that no matter who is in the White House or which party controls the Senate, the President will consult with Senators about nominees for federal judgeships from their states. As judges are appointed with lifetime tenure, it is critical that qualified judges are secured for each state, and eliminating this check would decrease the ability of the Judiciary Committee to confirm qualified judges in a bipartisan manner.
“The blue slip is not a partisan issue. Republicans repeatedly used blue slips to prevent President Obama’s nominees from being confirmed when they decided they weren’t the right candidates for the job, and Democrats permitted them to do it. Americans want us to work together to solve our nation’s problems, and tearing down the traditions that force us to work together will only make this more difficult. I hope that Chairman Grassley will not take Leader McConnell’s position and instead will lead the Judiciary Committee in a way that respects all members and the Senate’s important traditions.”