Burr's Doubles Down on Long History of Blocking Judicial Appointments
Monday Sen. Richard Burr announced he will do everything in his power to keep the Supreme Court seat empty if his buddy Donald Trump doesn't win the election. While this level of obstructionism is unprecedented, Burr does have a long track record of blocking judicial appointments. He recently even bragged about having the longest judicial vacancy in the county, as he has held the eastern district of NC seat vacant for more than 4,000 days.
President Obama nominated Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a former N.C. Supreme Court justice, to the federal bench in North Carolina this year. Burr is blocking the nomination, as he has another for years. Earlier, Obama nominated an individual – Jennifer May-Parker – who Burr himself had included on a short list for Obama to consider, and still he blocked her. The seat has now been open almost 4,000 days and is considered a judicial emergency by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
“I have the longest judicial vacancy in the history of the United States, in the eastern district of North Carolina. Not many people know that,” Burr boasted in Mooresville. Burr said Obama broke a deal they had made on a previous appointment.
Burr said he told Obama: “‘Let me make you a promise: This seat will be vacant on the day you go out of office, I assure you of that.’ It’s not a judgment on whether someone was qualified.”
No, to Burr, Cruz and others, a person’s qualifications are irrelevant if there are political points to be won or lost. It is ironic – no, deceitful – that these politicians claim to be “constitutional conservatives” and then eviscerate the Constitution. Article II, Section 2 says the president shall appoint Supreme Court justices with the advice and consent of the Senate.
That the Senate has violated that requirement since the death of Antonin Scalia is egregious enough. That Burr and Cruz would attempt to do so for four or eight years is unconscionable.