Republican Blocks First Native American Biden Admin Federal Judge

( – In the state of Montana, there has never been a Native American federal district court judge. President Joe Biden recently nominated someone who would change that, but a Republican senator has blocked that nomination.

In April, President Biden nominated Attorney Danna Jackson, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Her experience includes being an attorney with the US Department of Interior, and she was the chief legal counsel for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

The post, which is for life, requires Senate approval. When considering these nominations, the state’s two senators are asked to agree with them before the administration announces the candidate. This is called the Blue Slip Process, which has been in place since 1917.

This procedure is considered a courtesy granted to senators, and it is up to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to handle a nomination if a blue slip is withheld. In most cases, the nomination is not forwarded to the Senate for a final vote.

In this case, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) never turned in his blue slip of approval for Jackson. In fact, he claims the White House never even asked him to weigh in on the candidate. On May 30, Daines said, “We were never consulted…never asked by the White House for our input or consultation” about Jackson.

The administration claims Daines’ office interviewed Jackson last year but that the senator has refused to meet with her personally.

Many experts are calling for the Blue Slip Process to be revamped or scrapped altogether, saying it slows the nomination and approval process down and that it also can lead to abuse and discrimination.

As for why he doesn’t think Jackson is a good fit for the district court seat, Rachel Dumke, a spokesperson for Daines, said candidates “must be trusted to not legislate from the bench.”

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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