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Judges and Judiciary

May 15, 2024

Senators want return of 'blue slip' − or maybe not

But U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, is in no position to bind a future committee chair, who has the sole responsibility for determining whether to apply blue slip rules for judicial nominees.

Senate Majority Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-IL, floated an idea during a hearing last week on a disputed nominee: bring back the blue slip for circuit court nominees. The blue slip tradition, which allows home state senators to return blue-hued paper indicating their approval or disapproval, has existed for more than a century.

After a suggestion from U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, Durbin said he would consider restoring the custom - dropped in November 2017 by U.S. Sen. C...

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