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Controversial Nominee Gets Senate Panel Nod for 7th Circuit

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved four of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, including a nominee to the Seventh Circuit who did not receive approval from one of his home-state senators.

The committee narrowly voted to send Seventh Circuit nominee Michael Brennan to the full Senate on Thursday, over Democrats’ concerns about his respect for precedent and the process by which the Trump administration chose the former state judge for a seat on a federal appellate court.

A member of the conservative Federalist Society, Brennan received a hearing before the Judiciary Committee without the consent of Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., breaking from the Judiciary Committee tradition known as the blue slip.

Under the blue slip tradition, senators must signal their approval before a judicial nominee from their state is allowed to receive a hearing. Baldwin did not return her so-called blue slip for Brennan, saying he did not receive the required support from the bipartisan Wisconsin group that has since 1979 helped Wisconsin senators recommend judicial nominees.