Democrats showed how little they care about bipartisanship by failing to sufficiently consult two Tennessee GOP senators about one of Biden’s nominees for a Federal appellate court.
They did not even receive “blue-slips” — which are used to allow senators to express their position on a nominee from their state.
Dem Chair Dick Durbin conceded they did not receive them — even though this is a historical norm.
During the hearing for Andre Mathis, Biden’s appointee, Blackburn raised concerns over Mathis’ past, citing his driver’s license being suspended three times.
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Blackburn said she had “serious concerns” about Mathis’ experience and, with Hagerty, had identified an alternative pick, Camille McMullen, a Democratic appointee to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals who is also Black and is nearly a decade older than the 41-year-old Mathis.
She also said Mathis had a “rap sheet with a laundry list of citations” with speeding tickets that led to his driver’s license being suspended three times from 2008 to 2011 for failure to pay or appear in court.
Mathis expressed regret about the tickets, which he forgot to pay. “I can assure the committee I’m a law abiding citizen,” he said.
While GOP senators grumbled about their Tennessee colleagues’ frustrations, Republican John Kennedy of Louisiana acknowledged that reviving the blue slips process now “would be perceived unfair to this administration.”
CNN responded by smearing Blackburn as a racist.
This is despite her having identified an alternative pick who was also black.
Partial transcript via Newsbusters:
COATES: You shouldn’t be embarrassed or regret. I mean, he’s not the one, who should be embarrassed, about the way you handled this situation. And I want to bring in now, the former NAACP President and CEO, Cornell William Brooks. Because, I can imagine, Cornell, I can almost predict what your reaction was. I almost called you, to be like, “Did you see this just now?” What’s your reaction to that? Unbelievable!
CORNELL BROOKS:: Unbelievable! It was extraordinarily painful, to watch, as an American, and as an African American, and certainly as a black man. Why? Because here we have, the first woman, elected to the United States Senate, from the state of Tennessee, humiliating, denigrating, demeaning, a black man, who has the opportunity, to be the first black man, to serve, on the U.S. Court of Appeals, for the 6th Circuit.
She refers to some – a less than a handful of speeding tickets as “A rap sheet.” Now, you know, Laura. One out of every three American adults has a criminal record. That is to say, of record of arrest. 77 million people. This man–
COATES: And he’s not one of them. He’s not one of those people, though.
BROOKS: He’s not one of them. That’s exactly it. That is exactly it. And so, we know that this notion, this invoking of “A rap sheet,” invokes an ugly history, of criminalizing, and stereotyping, and degrading black people. So, in the context, of a judicial nomination hearing, he is surrounded by his family, and literally, he is humiliated, almost reduced to tears, in front of his children!
CNN fill-in host Laura Coates and ex-NAACP CEO SLAM Sen. Marsha Blackburn for making an issue out of Biden judicial pick Andre Mathis having multiple speeding tickets (and multiple failures to appear in court). Unbelievably, painfully racist! pic.twitter.com/fdYTNLsnBP
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) January 14, 2022