U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, issued a threat that could reduce the use of blue slips to forestall action on President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees in Republican-leaning states in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. 

Durbin’s statement came as the committee, which he chairs, voted out only a single judge during the 30 minute hearing despite having seven eligible for their first vote in the confirmation process. Before Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman was elevated to in Indiana’s Southern District via voice vote, Durbin spoke to his preference for the blue slip process but pointed to so-called “judicial emergencies” which may “test” the tradition.

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