As I wrote last week, Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are blocking the Senate from taking up President Trump’s nomination of David Stras to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Stras is a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court; he is widely respected. His nomination is opposed by approximately no one, not even by Klobuchar or Franken. Yet they have withheld their blue slips to prevent the Senate Judiciary Committee from acting on the nomination.
Senator Klobuchar is using the Stras nomination for narrow partisan purposes. She seeks to have a hand in the appointment of Democrats to four federal vacancies in Minnesota: United States Marshal, United States Attorney and two federal district court judgeships.
Klobuchar has negotiated with the White House over Minnesota’s federal vacancies. Her role in this scenario shows her to be a partisan player. She doesn’t talk about it and her friends at the Star Tribune have left the story untouched since July 8. Even when they touched it then, however, they didn’t relate it to the Stras nomination or explore the anomalies in Klobuchar’s efforts to engineer the appointment of a Democratic United States Attorney by a Republican president.
Klobuchar denies that she’s blocking Stras’s nomination. This is a lie. Klobuchar is blocking the nomination pending a deal with the White House that has nothing to do with the merits of the nomination of Justice Stras.
Franken asserts that he’s still reviewing Justice Stras’s “lengthy record.” Justice Stras is a young man. His record can be mastered without an exorbitant expenditure of time. If only Franken hadn’t spent so much time promoting his new book — he even took a turn hosting SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead channel for a day — he’d be done by now. But this is not to be taken seriously. It’s a joke, so to speak.
Third District Rep. Erik Paulsen is Minnesota’s senior congressional representative. He has taken the leading role in forwarding suggested nominees for the pending vacancies to the White House. He also supports the nomination of Justice Stras to the Eighth Circuit, as do Paulsen’s fellow Republican Reps. Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis along with virtually everybody else who knows Justice Stras.
On Friday Rep. Paulsen reported in a Star Tribune op-ed column that Klobuchar and Franken have in fact blocked the Senate from taking up Stras’s nomination. Rep. Paulsen told the story in “Klobuchar, Franken impede the path of an outstanding judge.”
A politically connected source now writes to tell me: “Klobuchar went a bit nuts after Paulsen’s op-ed. I’m told she called the White House in a panic — as if the WH could save her — and that she was quite flustered by Paulsen’s willingness to say that she is something other than a saint.”
He adds: “I’m also told that the WH and Klobuchar had a ‘Stras for 4’ deal in place, and that Paulsen played a key role in preventing that from being announced.”
I strongly support the confirmation of Justice Stras to the Eighth Circuit. The White House may have to make a bad deal to get it done. I would like readers to know what is happening and why, especially when the Minnesota media have defaulted on covering the story.
As Drudge would say, developing…but not in the Star Tribune.