Senate Democrats have created a new reason to obstruct the confirmation of qualified judicial nominees for purely partisan reasons, as part of their continuing campaign: deference to non-existent commissions. In a letter Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley stated:
"[W]e cannot return a blue slip on any judicial nominee that has not been approved by our bipartisan judicial selection committee. . . . We have a long history of organizing a committee charged with thoroughly vetting applicants from the Oregon legal community.”
The only problem is such a committee does not exist for circuit court nominees and never has. Don’t take a partisan's word for it; take the word of the last person from Oregon nominated to the Ninth Circuit:
The last Oregon vacancy in the ninth circuit came during the Clinton administration when Oregon Judge Edward Leavy assumed senior status in 1997. Leavy's replacement, Judge Susan Graber, did not come out of a selection committee—in fact, she said that one didn't even exist.
"There is no selection commission in my jurisdiction to recommend candidates for nomination to the United States Court of Appeals," Graber wrote in her official judicial nominee questionnaire.
Graber went on to explain she was selected for the seat after she reached out to President Clinton.
"I informed the President by letter of my interest in being considered for that vacancy," Graber wrote. "His response stated that he had referred the matter to the White House Counsel's Office."
Senator Wyden was an Oregon Senator at the time and supported Ms. Graber despite never having been consulted by President Clinton’s White House Counsel or Ms. Graber having gone through any commission selection process.
So actually, Senator Wyden, Oregon tradition (which you established) means deferring to the White House Counsel’s office.
While that is unlikely to happen, it just goes to show that Democrats are literally making up reasons to obstruct President Trump’s judicial nominees.