Congress Stupid Party

Senator Blocks His Own Pick for Federal Court Vacancy


Senate Republicans are now blocking nominees that were hand picked by Republicans.

In 2009, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) wrote a letter to President Obama recommending that he nominate Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor from his state, to a judicial vacancy on a federal trial court. [...] Last June, the president agreed with Burr’s recommendation, and nominated Ms. May-Parker to be a federal district judge.

And now Burr is blocking May-Parker’s nomination, invoking an arcane Senate tradition that allows senators to unilaterally veto judicial nominees from their own state.

After Senate Republicans exhaustively blocked judicial nominees for an extended period for time (years), Majority Leader Harry Reid moved ahead with the “nuclear option” and cleared the way to confirm a host of nominees some of whom had been waiting for months. Richard Burr is now exercising a loophole leftover from the late 1970s to block Jennifer May-Parker’s nomination.

According to ThinkProgress, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) could revoke Burr’s right to employ this ancient loophole at any time, so he shouldn’t be left off the hook.

The vacancy May-Parker has been nominated to fill is the longest standing vacancy for a federal district court.

  • D_C_Wilson

    So, if Leahy takes away Burr’s ability to block the nomination we can call it the Nuclear 2.0 option or maybe the H-Bomb Option. What are the odds that there will be hollowing over on Fox about how this is the “end of democracy” if that happens?

  • Draxiar

    Why would he recommend and then….?…*sigh*
    These people deserve to have their party decay to nothingness.

  • muselet

    I wish I could say I was shocked, but nothing the Rs do surprises me any more.


  • Christopher Foxx

    Burr refused to explain why the woman he once said has “the requisite qualifications to serve with distinction” as a federal district judge is suddenly unfit to be a federal district judge.

    It is unsupportable that Senators can do things like this without having to at least provide a reason. Just more of their pathological refusal to be held responsible for what they do.

    And double the shame on Leahy if he lets Burr get away with this.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Because he can.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Yes, I know he can. I’m saying he should be able to.

        (And if he were honorable or responsible, he wouldn’t.)