Several individuals who were nominated by President Donald Trump to seats on federal circuit courts will begin their confirmation process with Senate hearings next week.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen won’t be among them.
Despite receiving a well-qualified rating this week from the American Bar Association — the highest possible recommendation — Larsen’s nomination is being held up by Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.
Under current Senate rules, a home state senator can block a nomination by not returning a so-called blue slip.
The process is intended to guard against unpopular or unqualified nominees getting on the bench.
Larsen is neither. She won a majority of votes in every Michigan county in the 2016 election. And the ABA rating affirms her qualifications. She’s also been endorsed by conservative and liberal legal groups, including her former colleagues at the University of Michigan law school.
Stabenow and Peters are engaged in raw partisan politics. Peters' office says he is still waiting for information from Larsen and has not made a decision on her nomination. But Democrats are refusing to affirm any individual whose name appeared on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court appointees. Larsen was on that list, though not by her choice.
She would bring a needed Michigan perspective to the court, along with superb legal judgment.
But Stabenow and Peters aren’t working for Michigan residents in this matter. They’re dancing to the tune called by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Voters should remember that as Stabenow begins her re-election campaign with the false promise that she’s got Michigan’s best interests at heart.