Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras is headed to Washington this week for a federal courts confirmation hearing, a spokesman said Monday.
President Trump nominated Stras in May for a vacancy on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. His nomination had stalled when Democratic Sen. Al Franken declined to sign off on a confirmation hearing; fellow Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar had consented to a hearing. Home-state senators typically get deference under Senate “blue slip” custom.
But the senate judiciary committee intends to press ahead anyway. The spokesman for Stras said he will appear Wednesday for a hearing where nominations are the only agenda item. Stras also has appeared on a list of potential future U.S. Supreme Court appointments if more seats come open under Trump.
If Stras is confirmed for the lifetime federal Court of Appeals appointment, his seat on the state supreme court would be filled by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
That appointment would mean five of the seven high court seats would be filled by Dayton.