President Trump has once again rocked the boat within the Democratic party, opting to ignore Democratic senators’ input into his candidates for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Trump administration has already made it clear that they have no interest in bi-partisanship as seven circuit court hearings were confirmed without the approval of home-state Democrats.
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Traditionally, the White House would seek to obtain the much sought-after “blue slip,” which basically is the approval of the sitting senators of the state before going forward with appointments within that state.
According to Fox News, Ken Lee and Dan Collins were both picked without the approval or notification of Dianne Feinstein or Kamala Harris, the two sitting Senators in California.
Trump has often called out the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, labeling them “disgraceful” and “bias.” Feinstein fumed at the idea of Trump disregarding the “blue slip,” a Senate practice that has been in place for over 100 years.
“I take it that without notice or discussion, the blue slip is essentially dead,” Feinstein said Thursday. “This change in practice not only harms the Senate, it harms the federal judiciary. And I wish we could’ve had an opportunity to discuss it. I really believe it’s a mistake.”
The 85-year-old Democratic senator added: “Before President Trump took office, the blue slip had been a Senate practice for nearly one century. And during the past 100 years, before this presidency, the Senate confirmed only five judges with only one blue slip, and the last one was in 1989 – and in 100 years the Senate had never confirmed a judge without two blue slips.”
This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has bypassed the “blue slip.” Since taking office, Trump has nominated 12 Republican judges with seven of them confirmed. In February, Eric Miller, who is a Seattle-based attorney, was confirmed to the 9th circuit with stout opposition of his confirmation, the Washington Post reported.
As mentioned before, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has predominately had a liberal mindset, but this could be a thing of the past as the GOP majority has steadily placed conservative judge after conservative judge into the courts.
Feinstein has stated in the past that she is willing to work with Trump but only to a certain extent. “As Senator Harris and I have made clear, we’ve been willing to work from the start with this president to choose consensus, mainstream nominees to the 9th Circuit. One of the things I’ve learned is: what goes around, comes around. I had hoped that we would be able to work in a very cooperative way.”