President Donald Trump’s federal judge appointee David Stras was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday without approval of a home state senator, a move that bucks decades of tradition.
“For the first time in 30 years the Senate has confirmed a judge without having received sign-off from both home-state senators. Terrible! The Senate needs to protect its ‘advise and consent’ role. Otherwise, it will become nothing more than a rubber stamp,” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, tweeted after the Tuesday confirmation.
The “blue slip” process allows senators from the home state of judicial appointees to submit their approval or disapproval, on the premise that they have better knowledge of the appointee’s past. However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley tossed out the blue slip process for this appointment in November, and the Senate confirmed Stras, a Minnesota Supreme Court justice, in a 56-42 vote.
Former Minnesota Senator Al Franken said last year he would not turn in a “blue slip” for Stras as a sign of disapproval of the nominee’s hard-right views.