(Hotair.com) Get ready for the howls sure to come from Chuck Schumer and Co, but they only have themselves to blame.
Almost exactly a month after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that he would not allow Democrats to use the blue-slip process as a stealth filibuster, McConnell has ordered the Judiciary Committee to treat them as strictly advisory.
That will free up two Trump nominees for the appellate court, including current Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras.
Fred Barnes reports that McConnell also plans to expedite those confirmations … because he can:
* Confirming judicial nominees has been elevated to a top priority in the Senate. “I decide the priority,” McConnell said in an interview. “Priority between an assistant secretary of State and a conservative court judge—it’s not a hard choice to make.”
And when nominees “come out of committee, I guarantee they will be dealt with,” McConnell said. “Regardless of what tactics are used by Democrats, the judges are going to be confirmed.”
* No longer will “blue slips” be allowed to deny a nominee a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on confirmation. In the past, senators have sometimes barred a nominee from their state by refusing to return their slip to the committee, thus preventing a hearing and confirmation.
“The majority”—that is, Republicans—will treat a blue slip “as simply notification of how you’re going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball,” McConnell told me. The use of blue slips, he noted, is not a Senate rule and has “been honored in the breach over the years.” Now it won’t be honored at all.
McConnell won’t change the 30-hour debate rule, Barnes reports, which Democrats used to great effect on Trump’s earlier Cabinet appointee confirmations to gum up the works….