Democrats are abusing Senate rules to try to thwart Trump appointments
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., says Democrats have forced the Senate into 47 cloture votes this year alone on President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, compared with just six cloture votes in the first years of the four prior administrations combined.Democrat bad faith since losing teh 2016 election has led to this slowdown. Ironically, when they had the majority, the did away with the filibuster on nominations which is why they are resorting to the current obstructions. The result is likely to be that the minority party in the future will have even fewer means of slowing down the majority.
Cotton said Senate Democrats are abusing procedures that allow them to stymie Trump’s executive branch nominees. He said that allows career bureaucrats to run their agencies anyway they want, “without any political accountability.”
The freshman Arkansas senator leveled the charge in remarks to the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, on Nov. 16 in Washington.
Cotton said it’s time for those abuses to end, and he offered three proposals to set the nomination process back on track.
The first proposal is to end the use of so-called “blue slips” to block judicial nominees. Under Senate tradition, hearings aren’t held for a judicial nominee unless and until his or her home-state senators submit blue slips showing their consent to advancing the nomination.
“The Democrats are claiming that the blue slip should operate as a unilateral veto,” Cotton said. “That is a gross abuse of the blue slip custom, and remember, it’s nothing more than that, a custom, a courtesy. It is not a rule.”
Cotton also called for diminishing the role of the American Bar Association in the judicial nomination review process.
He said Democrats want to wait until the ABA evaluates nominees, but the ABA is a “left-wing” organization that has already declared four of Trump’s nominees to be “unqualified” in the first year alone, while never having characterized a nominee of President Barack Obama as unqualified in eight years.
Cotton described the ABA as a “democratically unaccountable, special-interest organization.”
He also urged an end to Democrats being able to use cloture votes to stall nominations. Cotton explained the process by saying that the majority party files a “cloture petition to end debate on a nomination,” which is then followed by an intervening day before the vote is held for cloture.