WASHINGTON— In response to Senator McConnell’s comments about ending the blue slip process for judicial nominees in the Senate, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“Today’s statement by Senator McConnell reveals his contempt for the institution of the Senate and the traditions of comity and respect that have made it work. The blue slip process represents more than simply a longstanding practice: it’s a way for senators to protect their constituents from extremism and cronyism. But for Mitch McConnell, who can’t get anything done except by changing the rules, it’s just another obstacle in his campaign to put biased partisans on the bench.
“For once, though, the decision isn’t up to Mitch McConnell. The judiciary committee is run by Senator Grassley, and it’s up to him to decide who gets a hearing. He needs to decide whether he’ll stand by his longstanding support of the blue slip process and his word of honor to Senator Leahy, or if he’ll let himself be bullied by Senator McConnell. And it’s up to other Republicans in McConnell’s caucus to stand up for the principle that home state senators should be consulted about lifetime appointments to the federal bench in their home state.
“Any Republican who purports to care about the institution of the Senate and the integrity of the judiciary should make clear that they won’t be led like sheep by a man who has already shown that his legacy will be the destruction of the Senate as we know it. Democrats should pull out all the stops to make clear how intolerable this move is.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.