33 Organizations Call on Sen. Durbin to Reform the Blue Slip Process, Return to ‘Biden Rule’ on Blue Slips


May 4, 2023

CONTACT: [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC— A coalition of 33 organizations sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin Tuesday calling on him to reform or discontinue the blue slip process to “ensure a fair process and stop Republicans from blocking highly-qualified Biden judicial nominees.” The letter is signed by leading pro-democracy, environmental, and civil rights organizations, the vast majority of whom are taking a position on blue slips for the first time. 

The letter urges Durbin to return to various historical practices that would make the blue slip process less likely to enable obstruction. First, it calls on him to return to the policy implemented by then-Judiciary Chair Biden, which stated that “return of a negative blue slip will be a significant factor to be weighed… but it will not preclude consideration of that nominee unless the Administrator has not consulted with both home state Senators.” Second, it calls on Durbin to reinstitute a deadline for return of blue slips. Finally, it calls on him to require greater transparency, including “public explanations for any negative blue slips” and once again making blue slip status public information.

The groups write: “Republican abuse of the blue slip courtesy is creating a two-tiered system of justice and civil rights in our country and exacerbating the backlog cases, especially in districts designated as judicial emergencies. As Republicans delay and block highly-qualified, diverse Biden judicial nominees, we are counting on you to act to limit their bad faith and to implement the necessary reforms to ensure that President Biden can fill every judicial vacancy with highly qualified, fair-minded jurists whose personal and professional backgrounds reflect the country they serve.”

The letter is signed by: Alliance for Justice; American Atheists; American Constitution Society; American Humanist Association; Center for Disability Rights; Center for Popular Democracy Action; Climate Hawks Vote; Committee for a Fair Judiciary (CFJ); Demand Justice; Earthjustice; End Citizens United//Let America Vote Action Fund; Feminist Majority Foundation; Freshwater Future; Friends of the Earth; Government Information Watch; Hip Hop Caucus; Indivisible; Lambda Legal; LatinoJustice PRLDEF; Lawyers Defending American Democracy; League of Conservation Voters; MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund); National Center for Transgender Equality; National Council of Jewish Women; Network for Responsible Public Policy, People For the American Way; People Power United; People’s Parity Project; Reclaim Democracy!; Revolving Door Project; Stand Up America; Take Back the Court Action Fund; and We Said Enough.

A copy of the letter can be found here

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