There's an idea in the Senate that it's still a chamber operating on mutual respect and goodwill between colleagues. That's why venerable traditions like "blue slips" — slips of paper senators can use to block any White House choice for judgeships in their home state — carry over today. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Pipefitters work on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline's southern portion outside Tulsa, Okla., in January. PR Newswire hide caption

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Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., asks a question of a witness on Capitol Hill during a June 2013 committee hearing. Since her appointment in 2009, Gillibrand has become one of the Senate's top fundraisers. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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People arrive on the National Mall Friday dressed as comic book characters during the kickoff of Awesome Con 2014 in Washington, D.C. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Sheldon Adelson listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting on March 29 in Las Vegas. Several possible GOP presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas as Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, looks for a new favorite to help on the 2016 race for the White House. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

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Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., speaks at an Oct. 2013 news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Landrieu's support for the Affordable Care Act is center stage in her campaign for a fourth Senate term. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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The Capitol Dome is visible through the skylights of the new Capitol Visitor Center. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in November 2013, shortly after the Senate voted 52-48 to weaken the power of the filibuster. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP