Hugely popular Al Franken is widely known as a vocal critic of Trump’s policies, and just about everything else the President does. Recently though, he’s taken a more tangible stance against Trump’s latest circuit court appointment. Politico reports with the details:
“Sen. Al Franken is preparing to block the nomination of one of President Donald Trump’s circuit court nominees — a move that would trigger a standoff in the Senate over a century-old tradition that gives senators significant leverage over home-state judicial candidates.
The Minnesota Democrat said in a statement Tuesday that he will not return a so-called blue slip for David Stras, who was nominated in May for a seat on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Stras’ legal decisions, professional experience and past statements, Franken said, raised concerns that he would be a “conservative jurist in the mold of Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia” — which was enough for the senator to try to block his confirmation to the federal bench.
“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 in a lengthy statement outlining his opposition to Stras. “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.”
Franken also took aim at the process by which Stras — who currently sits on the Minnesota Supreme Court — was selected. He argued that the White House had already settled on Stras before consulting with Franken about the vacancy.
Though opposition to Trump’s judicial picks from Democrats is by no means unusual, Franken’s battle against Stras is poised to set up a major fight within the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.
The blue slip process, a longtime Senate tradition, holds that the Judiciary Committee doesn’t hold a confirmation hearing for judicial nominees without permission from the candidate’s home-state senators, although that rule has been less adhered to for circuit court picks under previous administrations.”
With this in mind, it’ll be more crucial than ever for Democrats to show Franken their support. Please let us know what you think in the comments.