Conservative groups demand that McConnell step down

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While these leaders acknowledge the unprecedented delay tactics that Senate Democrats are using to slow-walk these nominations, they refuse to allow these to be an excuse for not delivering results.

"The campaign, including the advertising, is in a holding pattern for now because Leader McConnell's office has reached out and wants to have discussions about how best to proceed in the coming months in order to avoid the kind of judicial confirmations bottleneck that the groups are concerned about", a Judicial Crisis Network spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.

"Any Republican who purports to care about the institution of the Senate and the integrity of the judiciary should make clear that they won't be led like sheep by a man who has already shown that his legacy will be the destruction of the Senate as we know it. Democrats should pull out all the stops to make clear how intolerable this move is".

Separately, an outside group affiliated with Stephen Bannon, the former chief strategist to President Donald Trump who is waging a public war against McConnell and his allies, endorsed GOP Senate candidates in three states that were not objectionable to traditional Republicans.

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The Kentucky Republican told The Weekly Standard that going forward, the lack of notice will be seen, "as simply notification of how you're going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball".

"The goal of the blue slip is to ensure consultation between the White House and home-state senators on judicial nominees from their states".

McConnell has signaled that the Senate will devote more floor time to processing judges as the battle over the blue slip issue percolates. "In 2015, Chairman Grassley wrote that 'over the years, Judiciary Committee chairs of both parties have upheld a blue-slip process, including [Leahy], my immediate predecessor, who steadfastly honored the tradition even as some in his own party called for its demise".

A senior Republican aide dismissed the calls from conservative groups and noted that this is not the first time these groups have called for McConnell's head.

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"The Senate has fewer and fewer mechanisms that create bipartisanship and bring people to an agreement". Dems plead for nursing home residents" right to sue Crying on TV doesn't qualify Kimmel to set nation's gun agenda Trump knocks "fake' news coverage of his trip to Puerto Rico MORE (D-N.Y.) said.

McConnell can not dictate the "blue slip" policy shift on his own, and a spokeswoman for the majority leader urged against interpreting his comments too broadly.

He added that "we hope that Chairman Grassley, who has always believed in the traditions of the Senate, will resist Senator McConnell's request". There are 149 judicial vacancies right now, compared to the 108 Trump started the year with. His refusal to return a so-called "blue slip" on Stras has effectively scuttled the nomination under Senate rules. That gives the Republican majority a potential logjam of nearly 5,000 hours of Senate debate time, with a deadline of December 2018. Late last month, Trump expressed confidence in him. Republican senators withheld blue slips on 18 judicial nominees during the Obama administration. Democrats no longer have the ability to filibuster any nominees, judicial or executive.

In August, all but three Senate Democrats signed a letter to Trump, McConnell and Sen. And Grassley has argued that the Senate should stay in session longer - including skipping the current week-long break - to get more work done.

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