The dispute facilities on a customized often called the blue-slip course of, for the blue kind that home-state senators use to speak whether or not they approve of a choose’s nomination. The weight carried by blue slips has diverse over time, however Mr. Grassley has a looser coverage than the final Democrat to guide the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont.
Since Mr. Trump took workplace, Mr. Grassley has held hearings for a circuit court docket nominee from Minnesota and one other from Wisconsin over the objections of a Democratic senator from every state, Al Franken of Minnesota and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. The two nominees had been later confirmed. And two weeks in the past, the Senate was on the brink of confirming a nominee from Oregon, Ryan W. Bounds, although the state’s senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, each Democrats, opposed him.
Mr. Bounds had confronted criticism over inflammatory writings from his school days, together with a column during which he derided “race-focused groups” on campus and “race-think.” At the final minute, his nomination was pulled after Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the one black Republican within the chamber, raised issues and wouldn’t assist him.
That sudden flip of occasions supplied a reminder that Republicans haven’t any room for error in pushing judges by the Senate if Democrats are united in opposition, given the chamber’s 51-to-49 divide and the persevering with absence of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who has mind most cancers.
Mr. Wyden rapidly expressed hope that the destiny of Mr. Bounds’s nomination would have an effect on how Republicans deal with judicial nominations sooner or later. But Mr. Grassley seems unmoved, at the very least concerning his coverage on blue slips.
“That has nothing to do with it,” Mr. Grassley stated. “Whether they had returned the blue slips or not, there were other issues, and that’s where we have to leave it.”
There are extra judicial fights on the horizon. Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, quickly came out against a circuit court docket nominee from her state whom the White House introduced this summer season. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, opposes two circuit court nominees from his state, although Ohio’s different senator, Rob Portman, a Republican, helps them. Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, opposes a nominee from his state who has the assist of Senator Patrick J. Toomey, a Republican.