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Richard Burr blue slip watch: Day #274

Blue slipThe insanity continues. It’s now been 274 days since President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker  to become the first African-American judge in the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (74 days since he resubmitted her name in January).

As we noted last week, the nomination remains frozen in suspended animation because one man, Senator Richard Burr, refuses to return his “blue slip” — the modest little document that, under Senate tradition, both Senators from the home state must return in order for such a nominee to receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What makes the whole thing that much more absurd, of course, is that Burr long ago signed off on May-Parker as the nominee. He even wrote a letter early in the Obama administration in which he specifically endorsed her for the job. Now, he won’t even answer questions about his actions in public.

This is clearly an unacceptable situation. Maybe Burr knows something the rest of us don’t. If he does, however, he owes it to his constituents to say what the heck it is. A more likely explanation seems to be that the senator is simply playing political games with a critically important matter of pubic business and, sadly thus far, getting away with it scot-free.

Burr will also be in Raleigh March 31 to tout his widely disparaged “alternative” to the Affordable Care Act at a Locke Foundation event. It sure would be great if some members of the news media would be there to ask him about the May-Parker filibuster. If you’d like to contact Burr to ask him to explain his actions on this matter, click here for contact information.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Wiseman

    March 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    So it’s okay for Harry Reid to do away with filibusters in the Senate, but not okay for Burr to use a procedural trick?

  2. Alan

    March 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Yes Jim it is. The extent of GOP obstructionism has been unprecedented, it had no option to go. Difference is, the so called “nuclear option” was on the table for all to see, unlike Burr’s “procedural trick”. It’s hardly a trick when you refuse to comment on a candidate you once supported and now refuse to even acknowledge.