NAACP releases statement on Burr’s judicial filibuster

A new press release from the North Carolina NAACP:

NC NAACP Releases Letter Calling on Sen. Richard Burr to Stop Blocking a Vote on Ms. Jennifer May-Parker’s Candidacy to Fill an Open Seat on the U.S. District Court for Eastern North Carolina

RALEIGH – The North Carolina NAACP released a letter today urging Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) to stop blocking the congressional confirmation vote of Ms. Jennifer May-Parker for the U.S. district court judgeship in Eastern North Carolina.

Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II and the state conference also call upon the NC NAACP’s partner organizations and other people of conscience to contact Sen. Burr and let him know that they oppose his continued efforts to obstruct the appointment of a well-qualified African-American attorney to the court seat.

“The North Carolina NAACP, the people of North Carolina, say today that we will never stand by as justice is delayed,” Dr. Barber said on Jan. 25 when he announced the initiative. “Because justice delayed is justice denied.”

Attorney May-Parker is presently the Chief of the Appellate Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina where she directs that office’s defense of criminal convictions before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

President Barack Obama nominated Ms. May-Parker, a well-respected U.S. attorney and an African American, in June for the judgeship, which has been vacant for eight years-longer than any other court vacancy nationwide. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has called the long-term opening in Eastern North Carolina a “judicial emergency.”

The NC NAACP adds that a 220-year absence of any African American as a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina constitutes a moral and constitutional emergency. If approved by Congress, Ms. May-Parker would be the first African American to hold the position in state history.

The 44 counties of the Eastern district, commonly referred to as the state’s Black Belt, are home to the largest proportion of African Americans of any federal district. It is a region that has been wracked by the institutional injustices and racial discrimination of 200 years of chattel slavery and then another 100 years of sharecropping and Jim Crow.

“The federal court in the eastern district looks like the Civil Rights Movement never happened,” Dr. Barber said. “Sen. Burr…stop denying the people of eastern North Carolina their right to have Ms. May-Parker’s candidacy voted on and their right to integrate the courts, something that should have been done 200 years ago.”

The NC NAACP is not demanding that Sen. Burr vote for Ms. May-Parker, merely that he stop his silent veto and allow her candidacy to move forward for a full Congressional vote. The letter asks him to “Please do the right thing… [and] lift the “Hold” that you have placed upon the nomination of Attorney Jennifer May-Parker.”

On Jan. 24, the state conference’s Executive Committee unanimously voted to use the strength of its 100+ adult, youth and college branches and its 160+ coalition partners to put pressure on Sen. Burr over this prolonged delay of justice.

Dr. Barber calls upon the NC NAACP members, the Forward Together Moral Movement partner organizations, and all North Carolinians to ask Sen. Burr to give Ms. May-Parker just the chance to be voted upon. Tell Sen. Burr to stop obstructing justice and to let democracy go forward by signing onto the letter or by calling and emailing his office.

It has been a long eight years for the Eastern district, and it has been an even longer 225 years for the African Americans seeking a fair chance in the federal courts.

A signed copy of the NC NAACP’s letter to Sen. Burr is available here. Please see the contact information for Sen. Burr’s office below.

Contact Sen. Burr by email by clicking here.

Reach out to Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) in person or by phone: 

Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 350-2437

City Hall
181 South Street, Room 222
Gastonia, NC 28052
Phone: (704) 833-0854

Rocky Mount
100 Coast Line Street, Room 210
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: (252) 977-9522

Washington, DC
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154

201 North Front Street, Suite 809
Wilmington, NC 28401
Phone: (888) 848-1833
Phone: (910) 251-1058

2000 West First Street, Suite 508
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Phone: (800) 685-8916
Phone: (336) 631-5125

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