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

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

itoggle caption Susan Walsh/AP