Blue Slips Become Issue in Senate

My Portrait SessionsRepublicans at the national and state level are targeting Democratic Senators who have been withholding “blue slips” and preventing federal appeals court nominees from moving forward in the Senate.  

Blue slips are slips given to each Senator from a nominee’s home state where they write an opinion either a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the nominee before the Senate Judiciary Committee takes action.

Senator Bob Casey is one of the Senators who has been withholding his blue slip on Stephanos Bibas, a law professor from the University of Pennsylvania, who was nominated to the Third Circuit.  

“Sadly, Bob Casey continues to embrace his far-left ‘resistance leader’ status. His newest form of obstruction —  refusing to return his blue slip for our highly qualified Keystone State nominee — is a disservice to Pennsylvania and its citizens,” PA GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio said in a statement.  

The messaging on blue slips is also coming from national Republicans as well.  

“Senate Democrats are using every weapon in their arsenal to delay President Trump’s nominees and ignore the will of the American people,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.  

The effort is one of the most successful coordinated efforts between the White House, national, and state level Republicans since Trump took office.  The effort is likely part of a larger push by the administration to combat reports they haven’t fully staffed the administration.  

McDaniel called the move by Democrats  “unprecedented” but some Senate Republicans used the same tactic to delay hearings on appeals court nominees under President Obama.  Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey withheld his blue slip for Judge L. Felipe Restrepo, who was also nominated to the Third Circuit.  

During that time, Republicans said Democrats were trying to make the blue slips an issue ahead of Toomey’s re-election campaign the following year in an attempt to make Toomey look bad.

Update: Sources tell PoliticsPA that Republicans have misrepresented Casey’s actions. They say that Casey only received the paperwork for his blue slip about Bibas’ nomination this morning.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party responded to the claims from Republicans.

“Before launching these absurd attacks, Republicans should get their basic facts straight. Mr. Bibas’ paperwork was received by the Senate Judiciary Committee late last night and only forwarded on to Senator Casey’s office this morning — around the same the GOP were drafting their statements claiming obstruction. Senator Casey has a strong bipartisan record of working to confirm judicial nominees from both Republican and Democratic presidents and will continue to evaluate candidates as the administration puts their names forward,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Max Steele said in an email.


19 Responses

  1. So, Republicans refuse to vote on an Obama Supreme Court nominee for almost a year, and blue slips are the problem? Hey, whatever is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  2. Shouldn’t Fox Noise or Breitbart at least be given a source credit for this plagiarism?

  3. Shouldn’t the headline read: “REPUBLICANS TELL OBVIOUS LIE ABOUT BOB CASEY”? That’s what a journalist might have written.

  4. You left out politicsPA as a coordinating body, mr. former GOP communications director. This story has been nowhere else, so I guess this website is now just a GOP mouthpiece?

    Ohh, and Paul, “Writing” a story means more than stitching two press releases together. That’s called Copy and Pasting.

  5. “the will of the American people” was to have Hillary. She got 3 million more votes.

    1. That’s right, ignore reality; anything’s ok, the resistance shall prevail.

      Trump Derangement Syndrome is best treated by tincture-of-time and by helping the non-demented to recognize his accomplishments as he rescues the USA from the abyss.

    2. Robert B Sklaroff MD-

      You are still suffering from Clinton and Obama Derangement Syndrome, which causes hallucinations about a non-existent Trump Derangement Syndrome. Also, an inability to COUNT.

      Hillary got 3 million more votes. By definition, Trump was NOT supported by the majority of voters and does not have a mandate.

      1) There was no “abyss” from Obama. Country was recovering from the Bush abyss.
      2) Trump is causing a new abyss, but colluding with Russia and alienating the US from the G20 and allies.
      3) Trump’s healthcare plan is a tax giveaway to the rich that will cause 22 million to lose health insurance. But, Trump only defines a “win” as passing something, no matter how bad it is.
      4) Is the “abyss” that you want Trump to fix that black people and the poor are allowed to vote? Because, Trump’s voter fraud commission clearly has the purpose of finding fraudulent ways to keep minorities off the rolls.

      1. Perhaps Vrach Sklaroff has an affinity for the Russkis; his talking points seem straight from RT.

  6. This is what happens. The party who is not in power tries to obstruct. You’re ridiculous if you act like the Republicans can’t complain about it, just because they did it to the last president. This is politics, it happens all the time.

      1. Never once did I say that two wrongs made a right. Simply put, I’m saying the Dems are hypocrites for obstructing after they spent 8 years complaining about that very obstacle.

        1. I’m saying you are a hypocritical ass for complaining about Dems doing a bit of what the GOP did daily.

  7. This all sounds very familiar from just a little while back during a Democrat POTUS administration when the Republicans did everything they could to block appointments including an appt. to the US Supreme Court. Val, your comments are suffocatingly disingenuous.

    1. Seriously. If the Democrats are being “obstructionists”, it’s only because they got a front-row education on it courtesy of the Party of Trump for the past eight years.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen