Minnesota Senator Al Franken has declared that he will not return his blue slip on President Trump’s nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit. By withholding his blue slip Franken seeks to block Stras’s nomination from consideration by the Senate. Franken’s statement on the Stras nomination is posted online here.
I have been working like a beast of burden to ascertain whether Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has returned her blue slip on the nomination of Justice Stras, as her statement of many twists and turns suggested she would. Klobuchar’s statement, however, is a bit difficult to nail down. It reads like it was written by a staffer seeking to satirize her yen to have it every which way on controversial issues.
Senator Klobuchar has declined to responded to my inquiries regarding her blue slip on Justice Stras. She’s just that way.
After much digging, I can now report that Klobuchar has in fact returned her blue slip, formally indicating her approval of the nomination proceeding to a hearing. I have confirmed this with Senate Judiciary Committee staff. Woo hoo!
This squarely raises the question whether Senator Grassley will prevent the Stras nomination from proceeding based on one home state senator’s withheld blue slip. In the concluding paragraph of her statement on the Stras nomination, Klobuchar implied that Franken had the last word. She bid Stras a cold farewell: “I have enjoyed getting to know Justice Stras throughout this process and I know he will continue to serve admirably on the Minnesota Supreme Court.”
I will have more to say about it, but I predict that under the circumstances Chairman Grassley will proceed with the Stras nomination in due course.