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Democrats fire back at Republicans calling for obscure ‘blue slip’ process to be changed for Trump’s benefit

Democrats are taking issue with Republicans’ call for changes in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s “blue slip” practice to both help clear the way for President Donald Trump to nominate more circuit court judges freely — and so his existing nominees can sail through confirmation.

The blue slip is a Senate tradition in which senators can give or withhold their blessing for a judicial nominee from their state. The process provides the party that does not control the White House with leverage over a good number of the president’s nominations.

The process is intended to provide a more bipartisan consensus on judges who will serve in or represent a senator’s home state when the president is of the opposition party, encouraging communication between the White House and home-state senators before a nomination. But the opposition party has sometimes used the blue slip process to stonewall nominations and prevent the president from naming judges in their states.