Just before midnight, the U.S. Senate confirmed by voice vote a slew of pending Obama judicial candidates, including Loretta Copeland Biggs, who will serve in the state’s Middle District.
Biggs will take the seat opened up by Judge James Beaty, who nows serves on senior status.
Her addition to the court is welcome news and will begin to address the stunning lack of diversity on the state’s federal bench. She will be the first African-American woman to serve as a lifetime appointed federal judge in North Carolina.
But the state’s Eastern District continues to operate with a district court vacancy that has been pending for more than nine years.
The president’s nominee for that slot, Jennifer Prescod May-Parker — who would have been the first African-American to serve as a federal judge in that part of the state — failed to get even a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That’s because Sen. Richard Burr has inexplicably withheld the “blue slip” indicating his approval, even though he initially supported her nomination and despite his public statements condemning delays and other obstructive tactics interfering with judicial confirmations.
Read more about Biggs here.