The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), a conservative advocacy group, is organizing a national campaign to spur judicial confirmation reform.
Senate Democrats have slowed confirmation of judicial candidates by requiring 30 hours of floor debate for each nominee. Another informal Senate protocol has also slowed confirmation. By Senate convention, senators from states where judicial vacancies occur submit an opinion or a “blue slip,” giving a positive or negative evaluation of a nominee named to that vacancy. As a general matter, the Judiciary Committee will not convene a hearing for a nominee until the relevant senators submit their blue slips, effectively giving home-state senators veto power over judicial nominations.
JCN has put $500,000 behind a digital ad campaign urging reform of these processes and are coordinating with “grassroots” organizations to lobby lawmakers in support of adaptations.
“Democrats are abusing Senate rules to delay and obstruct President Trump’s extraordinary judicial nominees because they want to keep liberal activist judges in control of our courts,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for JCN. “Because of there gridlock, there are now far more judicial vacancies than there were when President Trump took office, and he began with a record number.”
Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford has formulated a proposal requiring only eight hours of debate for presidential nominees, followed by a prompt up-or-down vote.
There are currently 139 vacancies on the federal courts, according to the Judicial Conference of the United States.
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