During a 2005 stalemate over judges nominated to the federal courts, Sen. Richard Burr stood on the Senate floor and told his colleagues that regardless of what they thought of any particular nominee, they had an obligation to give each an up-or-down vote.
I believe if one of my colleagues objects to a particular nominee, it is certainly appropriate and fair for my colleague to vote against that nominee on the floor of the Senate. But denying judicial nominees of both parties, who seek to serve their country, an up-or-down vote, simply is not fair. It was certainly not the intention of our Founding Fathers when they designed and created this very institution.
Yet by his own actions with respect to Jennifer May-Parker, nominated by the President on June 20 to serve in the Eastern District of North Carolina, Burr is ignoring his own advice.
The vacancy in the Eastern District, based in Raleigh with courthouses in Wilmington, New Bern, Greenville, Fayetteville and Elizabeth City, is now going on eight years — the oldest federal district court vacancy in the country.
That’s not just a dubious distinction; it’s an embarrassment. Read More