Wednesday, while the media continued to focus on the fallout over the impotency of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in leading the Democrat’s unnecessary government shutdown, Republican leaders in the Senate concentrated on the courts. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, moved forward with hearings on President Trump’s judicial nominees — including consideration of the president’s nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Michael B. Brennan.
Trump nominated Brennan to fill the Wisconsin seat on the court of appeals in early August, but Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., held up Brennan’s appointment by refusing to signify her acquiescence to the president’s nominee by returning her “blue slip.” But because “blue slips,” as Grassley explained, do not serve as “single-senator vetoes,” Grassley moved forward with the hearing with hopes of finally filling the circuit court seat that has been vacant since January of 2010, explaining:
Senator Ron Johnson returned his blue slip for Mr. Brennan. Senator Tammy Baldwin declined to return hers. I’ve nevertheless concluded that Mr. Brennan should receive a hearing. As I’ve explained, a negative or unreturned blue slip won’t necessarily prevent a Circuit Court nominee from receiving a hearing, unless the White House failed to consult with home-state senators before choosing the nominee.
After reviewing the record, it’s clear the White House adequately consulted with Senator Baldwin regarding the nomination. In addition to Mr. Brennan, the White House also considered two candidates Senator Baldwin suggested.
While Brennan’s stellar performance over the course of Wednesday’s two-hour hearing should cement his confirmation, critics had already instituted a preemptive strike on his nomination. Days before the hearing, the inaccurately named far-left organization People for the American Way in a piece headlined, “Moving Forward on Michael Brennan Nomination Would Mark Dangerous Surrender to Trump,” condemned Brennan’s…