Raleigh News & Observer: Burr Blocks Federal Judge Nominee And Slows Justice in Eastern NC
Greensboro News & Record: A Burr Blockade
Fayetteville Observer: Burr Plays Politics with Long-Vacant Judicial Seat
Ashville Citizen-Times: Burr Gets an “F” for Shooting Down Nomination
The NRSC strategy of “localizing” their races to try and distance their candidates from Donald Trump relies on the assumption that their Senators have their pulse on the concerns and priorities of their state.
On that front, Richard Burr is failing miserably.
Despite a new poll yesterday showing that North Carolina voters strongly disapprove of the controversial and discriminatory bill known as HB2, Burr has continued to pledge his support and ignore the mounting evidence of its negative economic impact on the state.
And while home for recess, Richard Burr has now endured two straight days of brutal press back home for his transparently political refusal to support another highly qualified nominee, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, to a vacant seat on the U.S. District Court in Raleigh, despite the fact that she is “eminently well-qualified and owns a long record of service.”
In separate editorials in four of North Carolina’s largest newspapers, Burr is harshly criticized for his commitment to the “politics of gridlock” that is “unfair to the system running short of federal judges.”
But as many of the papers noted, this is just the latest mark in Burr’s long history of judicial obstructionism, having also pledged to block the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, his vote against Loretta Lynch as Attorney General, and his efforts to block the woman previously nominated for the open District court seat. It’s no wonder his approval ratings are one of the weakest for an incumbent Senator.
What North Carolinians are reading:
By any measure, Timmons-Goodson’s career has been distinguished, and her rulings and writings are available for all to see and judge. She is well-qualified to be a federal judge. But Timmons-Goodson’s nomination to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Eastern District of North Carolina is being stalled by the simple stubbornness of Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr. The judicial post, which has gone unfilled since Jan. 1, 2006, is the nation’s longest-running federal court vacancy… Burr’s opposition is unfair to Timmons-Goodson personally and unfair to the system running short of federal judges… The Senate’s job in reviewing the president’s nominees is to advise and consent, not to pout and obstruct. That behavior is especially out of line when it comes to qualified nominees to the federal bench.
So it wasn’t surprising last week when President Barack Obama nominated Timmons-Goodson to fill a vacant seat on the U.S. District Court bench in Raleigh. She is eminently well-qualified and owns a long record of service. She is a leader in the American Bar Association, a trustee at Guilford College and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. […] Burr should reconsider and support her confirmation, or else there may be political consequences for his recent pattern of obstructionism. It’s not likely he’ll do as well in November as winning 58 percent of the vote.”
“We’ve heard a lot of descriptions of Judge Patricia Timmons-Goodson over the years. All of them were glowing. So it’s hard to swallow Sen. Richard Burr’s tarring of her nomination to a federal judgeship as ‘brazenly political’ and an ‘election season stunt.’ The brazen politics are all his.”
Staff grades F to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., for immediately shooting down the nomination of Patricia Timmons-Goodson to fill a federal court vacancy for the U.S. Eastern District of North Carolina. Timmons-Goodson has served on the N.C. Court of Appeals, was the first black woman on the state Supreme Court and most recently served as vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. There’s little debate regarding her qualifications. Still, Sen. Burr said he won’t submit the nomination to the Senate Judiciary Committee. And so the politics of gridlock will ensure that the Eastern District vacancy, a post that has gone unfilled since the first day of 2006, will continue.”