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CVA Statement on Senator Franken Blocking a Qualified Judge

By Concerned Veterans for America

Arlington, VA — Today Senator Al Franken (D-MN) announced that he will not return a blue slip indicating he is comfortable with the Senate Judiciary Committee considering 8th Circuit Court nominee David Stras. Sen. Franken has been withholding his blue slip and delaying Stras’ confirmation process for months. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is also withholding her blue slip.

Stras clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and has been praised by colleagues on the left and the right for his objective and impartial approach toward the law. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, more than 100 Minnesota lawyers and former Minnesota Supreme Court justices praised his “stellar qualifications” and described him as a “top-notch jurist.”

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Mark Lucas issued the following statement: 

“Senator Franken is obstructing justice over misguided partisanship. It is truly disheartening to see an elected member of Congress play petty political games with something as serious as our judiciary. David Stras is a well-regarded jurist who’s served on Minnesota’s highest court for years and enjoys broad support on the left and the right. Stras deserves to be confirmed, and more importantly, the countless Americans who rely on the 8th Circuit Court deserve the justice guaranteed to them by the Constitution. 

“This disturbing situation underscores exactly why the blue slip process needs to be abandoned. We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to bypass Franken’s grandstanding and do what’s right for the American people. A hearing for Stras should be scheduled regardless of whether Franken or Klobuchar hand in permission slips.”

Last month, CVA launched “Defend the Courts,” an initiative dedicated to engagement around judicial nominations. Through the new effort, CVA will mobilize activists to support qualified judicial nominees who will respect the rule of law, fight to end judicial obstruction in Congress, and educate all Americans about the importance of a fully-functioning judiciary. The effort includes a video about why the blue slip process should be abandoned.  

Through Defend the Courts, CVA is currently urging activists to contact Senators Franken and Klobuchar and tell them to stop blocking Stras and obstructing justice. 

CVA engaged earlier this year in an unprecedented grassroots effort in support of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.