Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) avoided question after question on Tuesday about why he's blocking a long-stalled judicial nominee who he previously recommended to President Barack Obama.What is the nihilistic gamesmanship nonsense? The President accepts a Republican Senator's suggestion for a nominee to the District Court within his state, only for the Senator to then block her nomination? It's right out of Lewis Carroll. Or, perhaps, I should say, Groucho Marx:
Burr said in July 2009 that Jennifer May-Parker had "the requisite qualifications to serve with distinction" as a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Obama submitted her nomination to the Senate in June 2013, but she hasn’t moved since because Burr is withholding his "blue slip" to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The blue slip process is a courtesy, not a rule, honored in the committee that allows a home-state senator to advance or block a nominee. Fellow North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D) has already submitted her blue slip.
HuffPost caught up with Burr in the Capitol and asked him why he's holding up May-Parker, who, if confirmed, would fill the longest-standing district court vacancy in the country. The North Carolina judicial seat has been empty since 2005.
An administration official who requested anonymity to speak candidly said the White House is just as perplexed as anyone about why Burr is unilaterally blocking his own nominee.
One thing that's a little unusual in May-Parker's case is that four years passed between the time that Burr recommended her and when the White House sent her nomination to the Senate. A source familiar with her nomination process, who also requested anonymity, said that administration officials and North Carolina senators spent those years going back and forth to find nominees on whom they could all agree. The White House finally vetted May-Parker and agreed to nominate her, expecting Burr's support. The GOP senator has been blocking her ever since.
See why i went on a political sabbatical? And why I'm going back on one again?