How bad is the situation? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently stated: “If this continues it will take us more than 11 years to confirm the remaining presidential appointment[s].“ Statistics back this up, with almost four times as many nominees confirmed during President Obama’s first six months as President Trump’s.
Sometimes this is just plain ridiculous. Democrat Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow delayed returning their blue slips for highly qualified Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, nominated for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. While there are different definitions of blue slips, they are basically a vehicle to give home state Senators an opportunity to opine on a nominee. Larsen had just been reelected by over 57% of the people in Michigan. There is absolutely no reason for the delay as Judge Larsen is extremely well known and well respected and was even mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee by President Trump.
Of course, possible Presidential candidate and Democrat Senator from Minnesota Al Franken has arguably taken it one step further. Franken has still not returned his blue slip for Eighth Circuit nominee and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras. Stras was actually elected with a higher percentage of the vote in Minnesota than Franken in either of his Senate races. Yet Franken continues to sit on his blue slip for Stras. . . .
The problem of nomination obstruction is especially dire when compared with the rapidly growing number of judicial vacancies. Since President Trump was elected, the number of judicial vacancies has increased by 1/3. President Trump’s judicial choices need to be confirmed.We are grateful for President Trump, White House Counsel Don McGahn, and the entire White House Counsel's office for their excellent nominee selections and to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley for their strong leadership and support of the nominees in the Senate. Now it is up to the Democrats to stop obstructing and needlessly delaying well-qualified and well-respected nominees in an attempt to appease their radically liberal base.