Blue Slips are Really, Most Sincerely Dead Now

I’m not going to write yet another long post about the blue slip rule and the way Republicans have abused it for the past couple of decades. I’ve already written “Republicans Eager to Ditch Blue-Slip Tradition.” And then “The Blue-Slip Rule Is On Its Last Legs.” And then “Blue Slips Are Finally Dead.” What more is there to say? We used to have a bipartisan tradition that home-state senators had to approve judicial nominees, but Republicans have chipped away at it for years and then finally broke it completely a few months ago.

Well, how about “Republicans Have Really, Truly, Demolished the Blue Slip Rule”? That’s the shape of things now:

Republicans know they’re likely to lose in 2020. The only chance for conservativism to hold onto any power at all after that is through the judiciary. It’s all they care about right now, and if they have to mow down everything in their path to pack every open judgeship in the country with a hardcore right-winger, then that’s what they’ll do.

And then in 2021 Mitch McConnell will start moaning about how mean and uncooperative Democrats are if they follow his lead and do the exact same thing. Maybe this time, though, nobody will pay him any mind.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.