blue slip

What’s a Senate Blue Slip and Why Is It Losing Power?
 Roll Call Decoder with David Hawkings, wonky explainers from a Capitol Hill expert

It’s a literal blue slip of paper that for decades meant a senator could block a president’s nominee to a federal judgeship in their home state. These days, however, the Senate’s blue slip might be becoming defunct. Senior editor David Hawkings explains.

Below is a transcript of the video:

Leahy Defends Senators' Role in Vetting Judges in Their States

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy has again come to the defense of allowing home-state senators to block the nominations of federal judges in their states, even when the senators are Republicans.  

The Vermont Democrat penned an opinion piece for Sunday's Rutland Herald after the newspaper picked up a New York Times editorial  calling for the end of the "blue slip" consent process under which the Judiciary Committee declines to move forward with nominees for the federal bench until the home state senators sign off.