U.S. Sen. Harry Reid today said fellow Sen. Dean Heller has not shared with him the reasons Heller is refusing to allow the nomination of District Court Judge Elissa Cadish to move forward. But, Reid added, without Heller’s support, the nomination cannot go before the Judiciary Committee for a vote.
Heller has blocked Cadish’s nomination by refusing to sign a “blue slip,” a form that indicates the senator has no objections to a nomination being considered by the Judiciary Committee. (Signing the form does not mean the senator concurs with the candidate, only that he has no objections to a vote being held.)
Reid said the blue-slip tradition has been in place as long as he’s served in the Senate. “It’s always been done that way,” he said. “That’s the way it’s been since I’ve been here.”
Heller has refused to publicly state his objections to Cadish’s nomination, even when directly asked. But Cadish’s answer to a 2008 judicial survey question on gun rights is thought to be behind Heller’s recalcitrance.
Reid said that Heller has not told him why he objects to Cadish. But Reid did acknowledge that he’d shared a letter Cadish wrote to him explaining her gun-rights answer with Heller. That hasn’t appeared to change Heller’s mind.
Reid ignored a question from a reporter about whether he was aware of the 2008 questionnaire when he suggested Cadish as a judicial nominee. But it seems clear that he did not: Her March 22 letter explaining her gun-rights answer was dated well after President Barack Obama formally nominated her to the bench in Feburary. In the March letter, she indicates that Reid’s office had asked for clarification about the 2008 questionnaire, which suggests it did not come up as she was being vetted for the job.