The Power is Now

Readout of Congressional Black Caucus Meeting with Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin

On Thursday, April 28, 2023, the Congressional Black Caucus convened a meeting with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, regarding the procedural use of the Blue Slip custom.

The CBC expressed concerns to Chairman Durbin that the Blue Slip process, which began during the Jim Crow era to push back against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of public schools violated the 14th Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional, is an outdated practice that is antithetical to American values.

The CBC presented Chairman Durbin with a range of options to consider and urged the Chairman to reform the Blue Slip process in light of Republicans’ senseless opposition to confirming ABA qualified judges and U.S. Attorneys. The CBC stressed to Chairman Durbin that the Blue Slip process stands in the way of confirming fair and independent federal judges for lifetime appointments that will defend the fundamental rights and protections of Black Americans concerning voting rights, curbing gun violence, ensuring reproductive Justice and enshrining the protections against discrimination and racism.

Chairman Durbin and members of the CBC both agreed that the Blue Slip custom is an important issue to address and committed to continuing conversations in the coming weeks and months.

Attending members included:

  • Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus
  • Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC-06)
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-07)
  • Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO-02)
  • Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA-02)
  • Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-02)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Al Green (D-TX-09)

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