(Updated: Late this morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Loretta Biggs along with two other district court nominees, sending them to the Senate floor for a full confirmation vote. For more information, read below and here.)
North Carolina’s latest nominee for a seat on the federal bench, Loretta Copeland Biggs, is slated for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, and if approved moves one-step closer to a confirmation vote on the Senate floor.
But Biggs — like several other pending nominees hanging on as Congress approaches adjournment for the year — may be running out of time.
As The Hill reports this morning, Senate Republicans are digging in their heels and hoping to delay votes on the President’s nominees until January, when they take control of the chamber. At that point, all those who are pending will have to be renominated and will face a tougher road to confirmation.
That’s more than 170 nominations, including nine district court nominees who’ve already been approved by Judiciary and another three (with Biggs) who are scheduled for a committee vote today, plus 18 State Department picks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he’ll keep the Senate in session until his colleagues vote at least on the President’s picks for the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sarah Saldaña; head of Social Security Administration, Carolyn Colvin; and the nine pending federal judges.
Advocacy groups are also pushing for floor votes on Biggs and the other two court nominees who’ll hopefully come out of committee today.
Biggs’ nomination has been pending for a little under three months and appeared to be heading smoothly toward confirmation after receiving support from both home state senators, Kay Hagan and Richard Burr. If confirmed, she’ll fill the seat vacated by U.S. District Judge James Beaty in the state’s Middle District.
Meanwhile, the candidate named to fill the country’s longest running federal district court vacancy — now open in eastern North Carolina for 3,287 days — Jennifer May-Parker, has yet to receive even a committee hearing. That’s because Sen. Burr, who once supported her, refuses to return the “blue slip” to get May-Parker a date on the Judiciary Committee calendar.