Biden’s Court Pick Hits Roadblock
President Joe Biden’s nominee to fill a district court vacancy hit a roadblock after a GOP senator signaled that William Pocan wouldn’t have his support.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he isn’t moving forward with Pocan’s nomination after Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) indicated his objection.
According to The Hill, the Senate has a precedent, known as the blue slip rule, that allows a home-state senator to effectively block a district court nominee from their state by not returning their blue slip — a piece of paper that indicates if a senator supports a nomination.
Durbin had generally pledged to honor the blue slip precedent for district court nominees but left the door open to exceptions if the process was abused in “those cases where it appears to clearly be a case of discrimination based on gender, race or sexual orientation.”
“The blue slip on district courts is clear,” Durbin said, adding that the caveat he had previously outlined “doesn’t apply here, I don’t think.”
The situation marks the first case of a Biden district court nomination stalling out because of a blue slip objection from a home-state senator.