If the senior senator from North Carolina is known for anything, he is known for doing nothing. A hapless slacker by any standard, Senator Burr is at best an empty suit, except when he is doing outright damage. Today, the New York Times editorial board takes Burr to task for, well, doing nothing.
The job of federal judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been vacant for more than eight years, one of the longest vacancies of 83 on the federal bench around the country. Last June, President Obama nominated Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor, for the position, but she hasn’t even received a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee because Richard Burr, the state’s Republican senator, is blocking her.
The strange part is that Mr. Burr himself recommended her for the seat in 2009. But now he’s changed his mind and won’t say why, exploiting an archaic Senate tradition to make sure Mr. Obama can’t fill that vacancy.
Burr's obstruction, of course, has been enabled by arcane rules in the US Senate, a place the illusion of collegiality trumps democracy at every turn.