The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board is taking Franken to task for his "petty" obstructionism. The Minnesota Democrat is refusing to hand over his "blue slip" in consideration for the nomination of Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Senators who hold on to their blue slips can block votes on nominees to the lower federal courts from their home state, the WSJ explains. It has become a growing trend in the Trump era.
The editors mock the senator's use of the Franken Role Model Standard. All Stras is guilty of is speaking at conservative functions and "daring" to praise the late Antonin Scalia.
Mr. Franken claims instead that Judge Stras is unfit by virtue of his role models. The Senator is offended that the judge early in his career “worked as a law clerk for Justice [ Clarence ] Thomas,” and that he even once described that Supreme Court Justice as a “mentor.” Judge Stras also dared to speak at a Federalist Society event, where he “talked about how the jurisprudence of Justice [Antonin] Scalia helped to shape his own views.” Shocking stuff.
Under this Franken Role Model Standard, Democrats are justified in opposing any nominee who admires any widely esteemed Senate-confirmed Supreme Court Justice that he doesn’t like. Perhaps he thinks the late Justice Scalia wrote too well and was too intelligent to be Mr. Franken’s idea of a judicial model.
Judicial Crisis Network had other inclinations as to why Franken is blocking such a qualified nominee. In a new ad that aired Wednesday, the group claims that Franken is refusing to support Stras because he loses to him in a popularity contest. For instance, Judge Stras is highly esteemed by the American Bar Association and enjoys bipartisan support.
Is Franken jealous of someone more popular, the ad wonders.
Chairman Grassley shouldn't put up with all this "nonsense," the WSJ editors write.