GOP senator howls after Democrats give Republicans a taste of their own medicine in judicial hearing
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Democrats gave Republicans a taste of their own medicine during a judicial confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin held the hearing for Andre Mathis, a nominee by President Joe Biden for an appeals court seat that has historically been designated for a candidate from Tennessee, over the objection of the state's two GOP senators, reported Roll Call.

A long-standing committee tradition known as "blue slips" traditionally given home-state senators more influence over the nomination, but Republicans used that to block some of Barack Obama's nominees if senators didn't return the actual slips of paper -- and then ended the practice during Donald Trump's presidency.

“We are about to enter a four-year — I don’t want to characterize or mischaracterize the situation — four years of trying to balance the books,” Durbin said.

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Durbin pointed out that Republicans moved 18 nominees through the process and eventually confirmed 17 of them, and said the committee should look into codifying the practice into the rules after the next election.

“Perhaps we can agree that prospectively after the 2024 presidential election, there will be a rule,” Durbin said. “We don’t know who’s going to win that at this point, and we might have a standard moving forward from there.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, one of Tennessee's two senators, along with fellow Republican Bill Hagerty, complained about the maneuver being used against the GOP.

“I do recognize the president’s constitutional prerogative to nominate individuals of his choosing to serve on the federal judiciary, but we in this Senate have a crucial constitutional role to play as well,” Blackburn said. “The White House communicated with my office a total of two times on this nomination.”

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