Demand Justice Criticizes Durbin Reversal of Blue Slip Transparency Policy


March 14, 2023

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WASHINGTON, DC— On Tuesday, Demand Justice criticized Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin for apparently reversing a longstanding policy that whether senators have returned their blue slips is publicly available information.

On Monday, Roll Call reported that Durbin’s office “declined to say if a blue slip had been returned from [Sen. Cindy] Hyde-Smith on” the nomination of Scott Colom to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

The office’s refusal to disclose whether this blue slip has been returned flies in the face of decades-long policy that this is public information. According to the Congressional Research Service, whether or not blue slips have been returned was made public information starting in 2001. At points, the information has even been published on a publicly available website.

“Chair Durbin should reform blue slips to stand up to Republican abuse, but instead, he is taking a step backwards, reducing transparency and allowing Republicans to obstruct in the shadows,” said Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang. “It’s time for Chair Durbin to start making it harder, not easier, for Republicans to obstruct Biden’s nominees.”

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