Another case of blatant obstruction from one U.S. Senator over the federal judiciary. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota announced that he will not be supporting the nomination of David Stras and is withholding his blue slip. Stras currently sits on the Minnesota State Supreme Court.
Franken has used the blue slip process to continue his vendetta against judges in favor of adherence to the Constitution. Earlier this year, Franken opposed the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United State Supreme Court. Gorsuch was arguably the most qualified candidate who could have been named to that seat, but Franken chose to play politics with that decision as well, stressing the importance of party loyalty rather than the rule of law.
Again with Justice Stras, Franken is choosing his party over principles. He’s chosen to oppose a judge well-suited and qualified for his position, based solely on the fact that he believes Stras will stick to the words of the Constitution rather than finding “common ground.” Perhaps a civics lesson would inform the Senator that he’s opposing a judge for doing exactly what a judge is supposed to do – adhere to the Constitution, not act as a legislator.
Several other senators, including Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have yet to return their blue slips on judges from their home states. These other senators would serve their constituents well to not follow the petty example of Senator Franken. The Senate should do away with the arcane blue slip process and let judges come up before the Judiciary Committee for a vote.