Back at Work, Franken Grills Federal Court Nominee

November 29, 2017 06:00 PM

Sen. Al Franken faced his first big challenge returning to work after being accused of sexual misconduct by four women.

Franken spoke out Wednesday at the hearing for federal court nominee David Stras, a Minnesota Supreme Court justice. 

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RELATED: Franken, Back to Work, Faces Tough Days Ahead

Franken has strongly opposed Stras' nomination from the start, saying he's too conservative. 

Wednesday morning, he expressed concern Stras was identified as a potential nominee by two conservative groups - The Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society.

"The groups picking the judges know what they are getting, but the public doesn't...and I don't think that's right," Franken said.

Franken also spoke out about the confirmation process itself, protecting his right to object the nomination. Franken withheld a so-called "blue slip" that traditionally allows a home state senator to approve a hearing for a nominee.

TIMELINE: Sen. Franken Groping Allegations

"If this committee is to honor the blue slip, they should do it consistently, not when it is political expedient for the majority," Franken said.

Stras was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a vacancy on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Franken has always had a reputation of asking tough questions.

But after facing sexual misconduct allegations, it's unclear if he still has the same amount of political credibility. Some political experts say that remains to be seen.

"I think it depends on who the audience is," said Kathryn Pearson, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota.

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