A Star Tribune political reporter whom I like a lot has taken note of my Power Line posts reporting on Senator Amy Klobuchar’s treatment of President Trump’s nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit. In my posts I criticize the Star Tribune for its failure to report the story. On Friday the reporter commented in his Star Tribune newsletter: “Concerns about delays of judicial nominees getting their hearing is a bit episodic depending on who occupies the White House. (I recall an Obama Supreme Court nominee never getting a hearing.) The Google machine reveals this piece from Russell Wheeler from Brookings in which he notes ‘Senators used their blue slip prerogatives to forestall or veto nominations and give Trump over 100 in-place and announced vacancies, including over 30 that never had nominees.'” I ask readers to forgive my somewhat self-indulgent response to him:
There is much more context that could be added. My beef is with the simple failure to report the story since July 8. Senator Klobuchar doesn’t want it reported. She denies she’s blocking Stras. She’s lying.
Senator Klobuchar supported the nomination of Justice Wilhelmina (Mimi) Wright to the federal district court by President Obama. She is comparable to Justice Stras. She was serving on the Minnesota Supreme Court at the time of her nomination. Senators Klobuchar and Franken turned in their blue slips immediately upon her nomination. They didn’t wait for an FBI background report to do it. That’s context too.
Your comment reminds me. The week Judge Wright was confirmed, the Heritage Action people announced against her confirmation. They stated that they would score the senators’ votes on her confirmation. I didn’t get to it until the day after she was confirmed but I argued on Power Line that Heritage was wrong and explained why I would have supported Judge Wright’s confirmation if I had been voting on it. Even though I was late, Senator Klobuchar called to thank me.
I would like the Star Tribune to explain to readers what is really happening here. It isn’t just partisan payback, as you imply. It’s something different. Someone should do the digging and explain it to readers and let them make up their own minds about it. But the Star Tribune has defaulted on a significant story that matters to a lot of us.
Do the Star Tribune reporters on whose beat this falls lack GOP sources? Do they not want to upset Senator Klobuchar? Do they not think it would be of interest to readers? Are they too lazy to do a little digging when Klobuchar isn’t handing out press releases? I find it hard to understand.