Download AFJ Background Report

On April 12, 2018, President Trump nominated Paul B. Matey to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to fill the seat of Judge Julio M. Fuentes, who assumed senior status in 2016.

New Jersey’s senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, were not meaningfully consulted and have not returned their blue slips for Matey’s nomination. Consistent with Senate practice for nearly a century, without a blue slip from either home-state senator, the Judiciary Committee should not proceed with a nomination. The Congressional Research Service has found no known instance in which a nominee has ever been confirmed over the objections of both home-state senators. The Senate must not allow Matey to be the first.

As Senator Orrin Hatch said in 2014, “[w]eakening or eliminating the blue slip process would sweep aside the last remaining check on the president’s judicial appointment power. Anyone serious about the Senate’s ‘advice and consent’ role knows how disastrous such a move would be.”

Given the lack of meaningful consultation with home-state senators and no returned blue slips, AFJ opposes Matey’s confirmation.