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Wednesday - August 16, 2017 8:59 am

Politicians changing the rules to benefit themselves

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There are a number of quirky rules in our political system. Like the system of selecting judges. Under an arcane rule known as the “blue slip” members of the United States Senate are given the powerful ability to halt judicial nominations. The rule allows U.S. Senators an effective veto over the nomination of federal judges from their home state. That is why the Wisconsin seat on the 7th District Circuit Court of Appeals has remained vacant for the past seven years. It is the oldest judicial vacancy of any court in the country. President Obama tried repeatedly to fill that seat, only to have his nominations blocked by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. Johnson was well within the rules to use the blue slip to block Obama's nomination, but now the shoe is on the other foot. Republicans are in control, and President Trump has named his own pick to fill the judicial vacancy. But because politicians like the rules when they benefit them, they are also considering doing away with the blue slip rule. The same rule that allowed Johnson to block Obama's nomination could prevent Democrats from exercising the veto of Trump's pick. Johnson argues that circumstances have changed. But it seems the only thing that has changed is who can use the rule to their benefit.

Last modified on Wednesday - August 16, 2017 9:01 am
Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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