“Ethnic and gender biases have crept into the US Senate stalling of federal nominations”, said Senator Patrick Leahy, according to book Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream. My friend, a librarian, found relevant quotes with regard to Burr blocking a well-qualified woman and minority nominee Jennifer May-Parker from the Eastern District of NC court for 318 days (and counting).
US Senator Patrick Leahy has seen this trend for almost 2 decades at this point (trend already noted in 1997). According to the book, “Leahy’s appraisal of the stalling tactics provides a sharp overview of the political milieu in which Sotomayor endured her lengthy route to confirmation. ”
“For some unexplained reason, judicial nominees who are women or racial or ethnic minorities seem to take longest in the Senate. Of the 10 judicial nominees whose nominations have been pending the longest before the Senate, eight are women and racial or ethnic minority candidates. A ninth has been delayed in large measure because of opposition to his mother, who already serves as a judge. The tenth is one who blew the lid off the $1.4 million right-wing campaign to “kill” Clinton judicial nominees.”
A paragraph later, he said,
“Acting to fill judicial vacancies is a constitutional duty that the Senate – and all of its members – are obligated to fulfill. In its unprecedented slowdown in the handling of nominees in the 104th and 105th Congresses, the Senate is shirking its duty. The Senate majority’s choices as they stall Hispanic, women and minority nominees is wrong and should end.”