Senate Republicans are now blocking nominees that were hand picked by Republicans.
In 2009, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) wrote a letter to President Obama recommending that he nominate Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor from his state, to a judicial vacancy on a federal trial court. [...] Last June, the president agreed with Burr’s recommendation, and nominated Ms. May-Parker to be a federal district judge.
And now Burr is blocking May-Parker’s nomination, invoking an arcane Senate tradition that allows senators to unilaterally veto judicial nominees from their own state.
After Senate Republicans exhaustively blocked judicial nominees for an extended period for time (years), Majority Leader Harry Reid moved ahead with the “nuclear option” and cleared the way to confirm a host of nominees some of whom had been waiting for months. Richard Burr is now exercising a loophole leftover from the late 1970s to block Jennifer May-Parker’s nomination.
According to ThinkProgress, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) could revoke Burr’s right to employ this ancient loophole at any time, so he shouldn’t be left off the hook.
The vacancy May-Parker has been nominated to fill is the longest standing vacancy for a federal district court.