Once again, Republicans are angry that a Democrat is daring to do what they did to Obama for eight years. Senator Al Franken from Minnesota is standing in the way of a particularly dangerous judicial appointment in his state and Republicans are losing their minds.
Trump nominated David Stras to a vacancy on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. In doing so, he has violated yet another long-standing tradition. Before nominating anyone to the position, the president is supposed to meet with the two Senators from the state. In this case that would be Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. He declined to meet with either one of them.
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BACKGROUND ON STRAS
David Stras is a dangerous man. He fully opposes school integration and even attacked a pro-school integration decision of another Justice, Anthony Kennedy. He said that lower court Judges put “way too much emphasis” on school integration. What year is it, again?
It gets worse. When Stras clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas., he helped Thomas write an opinion piece that called racial diversity a “faddish slogan” and called institutional racism a “conspiracy theorists belief.”
AL FRANKEN TO THE RESCUE
Not to worry, Al Franken to the rescue. Franken has said enough is enough. He is not without a plan. He refuses to return the “blue slip.”
There are rules in place that say when a judge is nominated, both Senators from the state need to submit their approval in writing. Without this written submission, or “blue slip” the appointment will not go through.
MITCH MCCONNEL IS AN ANGRY LITTLE TURTLE
As a result of Franken’s refusal, members of the GOP are losing their minds. They have been working for months to end the “blue slip” rule, now that it no longer works to their benefit. Mitch McConnel has renewed the push in recent weeks, however.
“My personal view is that the blue slip, with regard to Circuit Court Appointments, ought to simply be a notification of how you’re going to vote, not the opportunity to blackball,” said McConnel.
What he neglects to mention is that he had absolutely no problem with blue slips when the GOP was using them to block Obama’s picks for the judicial.
McConnel isn’t the only one either. A conservative think-tank took out an attack ad on Franken.
FRANKEN IS NOT WITHOUT FRIENDS
Franken isn’t alone. Former Vice President Walter Mondale wrote an editorial showing his support. “Franken has acted appropriately in defense of Senate procedure, and he is also right to oppose Stras on the merits,” he wrote.
Mondale points out that it is Trump’s own failure to meet with the Senators that led to this hold-up. “It is unreasonable to ask that Franken defers to a Senate tradition while a partisan white House ignores that very same tradition,” he added.
FRANKEN HAS BEEN A VOICE OF REASON
Trump isn’t picking these appointments on his own. Instead, right-wing conservative think tanks do it for him. They are responsible for appointments like John Bush. He is the winner that said abortion is as bad as slavery.
Franken raked Bush over the coals at his confirmation hearing. Now he is taking this one a step further since it is his state. Here’s hoping that he can continue to block these horrifying appointments.