While (Sen. Al) Franken’s formal objection makes clear where he stands, it won’t necessarily upend (MN Supreme Court Judge David) Stras’ nomination because Republicans control the Senate, and the Judiciary Committee has moved in the past to get around resistance from home-state senators who refuse to return so-called “blue slips” ahead of confirmation hearings. That said, nominees lacking that prior consent have faced trouble getting confirmed, with members of both parties citing tradition.
Franken issued a lengthy statement saying he is concerned that Stras is too conservative to gain his support. Stras was nominated for the post in May by President Donald Trump.
“Justice Stras’s professional background and record strongly suggest that, if confirmed, he would embrace the legacy of his role models and reliably rule in favor of powerful corporate interests over working people, and that he would place a high bar before plaintiffs seeking justice at work, at school, and at the ballot box,” Franken said. “The president should be seeking out judges who bridge the issues that divide us, but I fear that Justice Stras’s views and philosophy would lead him to reinforce those divisions and steer the already conservative Eighth Circuit even further to the right.”
I for one certainly don’t consider Stras’s nomination to be deceased. I’m frankly surprised that Senate GOP leadership hasn’t done away with blue slips already. I suppose the rationale is that in the long run the ability to block nominations this way benefits conservatives more. But that may well not outweigh the fierce desire to pack the courts with extremists, for much longer.