I erred in stating that Minnesota Senator Al Franken had returned his blue slip on Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, nominated by President Trump to the United States Court of Appeals to the Eighth Circuit. Neither Senator Klobuchar nor Senator Franken has returned a blue slip on Justice Stras. They are both therefore blocking his consideration by the Senate under the custom that Senator Grassley is following as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Justice Stras’s nomination to the Eighth Circuit is supported across the board in Minnesota. He is supported by former colleagues at the University of Minnesota Law School, by former colleagues at the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm, by former colleagues on the Minnesota Supreme Court and by prominent attorneys of all stripes who have appeared before him as a judge. There is approximately no opposition to his nomination.
Indeed, neither Franken nor Klobuchar has stated opposition to him. See, for example, the AP story by Kyle Potter just posted this afternoon.
This is the response that Franken sends to constituents inquiring on the subject:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the nomination of Justice David Stras to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. I appreciate hearing from you.
On May 8, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to fill a vacancy on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. As senator and a member of the Judiciary Committee, I have the responsibility to vet and vote on judicial nominees, and this is a responsibility that I take very seriously. I believe the record, experience, and philosophy of all nominees should be carefully scrutinized in order to fully evaluate them.
Justice David Stras is a committed public servant whose tenure as a professor at the University of Minnesota underscores how much he cares about the law. I am concerned, however, by the fact that Judge Stras’ nomination is the product of a process that relied heavily on guidance from far-right Washington, DC-based special interest groups–rather than through a committee made up of a cross-section of Minnesota’s legal community. As President Trump’s nominee to the Eighth Circuit, I am taking a close look at his record and his writings to better understand how he thinks about the important matters before our federal courts today.
I regret the error.