Hirono, Leahy, Wyden

Executive Session (Engelhardt Nomination)

Senator Hirono: (3:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke on judicial nominations.
    • "Mr. President, just before we left for last week's state work period, the majority leader filed nominations on six federal courts. Over the past year and a half, the majority leader and the Republicans in the Senate have joined with Donald Trump to try to pack our federal courts with ideological judicial nominees who seek to change America law and match their partisan politics. To accomplish this goal, the majority leader and the Senate Republicans have eliminated procedural checks to ensure a fair judiciary. One is the blue slip, a mechanism to ensure the senator's approval from their state. In the past when senators objected to a nomination in their home state, the Judiciary Committee, with almost no exceptions, took no further action on that nominee."

 

Senator Leahy: (4:11 p.m.)

  • Spoke on judicial nominations.
    • "There are only 100 senators. We should be the conscience of the nation. We have a unique role. But this week, we're witnessing a further degradation of the once-respected role of the blue slip in the judicial confirmation process. Now, partisans who value political expediency have argued that blue slips are archaic or mere slips of paper, but instead they represent and help preserve something far more meaningful. For much of this body's history, blue slips have given meaning to the constitutional requirement of advice and consent. They have protected the prerogatives of home state senators. They are the ones who have to vouch for somebody from their state, and they are the ones who have the most at stake."

 

Senator Wyden: (4:23 p.m.)

  • Spoke on judicial nominations.
    • "Mr. President, there is now a vitally important debate happening on the senate floor with respect to judicial nominations. What is clear to me is the majority is now chipping away at a century of bipartisan tradition that has protected the interests of those in our home state and served as a check on the power of the executive. Now it is the Senate bowing down to the White House derelict in its constitutional responsibility to provide or withhold advice and consent on nominees. In my view, this is a dangerous mistake that is going to have harmful consequences decades. Today the debate at hand is over the mishandling of the nomination of Michael Brennan to be the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit."