This is the full article NC NOW President Gailya Paliga had submitted to the News & Observer, 5/11/16, 1:10pm. Part of it ran as an LTE on 5/18/16.
I was impressed to see that one of NC’s own extremely well qualified former (NC) Supreme Court Justices was nominated on April 28, 2016, to fill a long time vacancy on the federal court bench in Eastern North Carolina. Timmons-Goodson served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina from 2006 to 2012. She also served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and as a District Court Judge. In fact, Patricia Timmons-Goodson was a judge in North Carolina from 1997 through 2012!
I was appalled to read that Senator Richard Burr vowed to block her the same day! According to “Burr vows to block Obama nomination to NC federal court seat,” 4/28/16, “The U.S. Eastern District of North Carolina has the longest-running vacancy, a post that has gone unfilled since Jan. 1, 2006 – the day after federal District Court Judge Malcolm Jones Howard semi-retired.”
North Carolina’s vacancy is the longest standing vacancy in the American federal court system – over 10 years. In fact, this vacancy was elevated to judicial emergency status years ago. Since this position is to serve Eastern North Carolina – this vacancy hurts North Carolina directly.
You may be shocked to learn that Burr has actually blocked 2 black women from this position since 2013. The first minority woman Burr blocked for this position is one that HE HIMSELF HAD RECOMMENDED in 2009. That was Jennifer May-Parker.
Burr refuses to do the US Senate’s job of advice and consent. Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate. Their job is to make sure the nominee is qualified, and if so, vote yes. Their opportunity to oppose an unqualified candidate is during the hearings.
Burr has caused and continues to cause the federal courts in North Carolina to be short-handed. Burr needs to fulfill his constitutional responsibility and fill this long time vacancy at judicial emergency status!
– Gailya Paliga,
President, NC National Organization for Women
News and Observer version, “Gailya Paliga: Time to fill federal court judge position,” can be found at http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article78142367.html#1.
If you want to write Senator Burr or Senator Tillis (who also voted against NC native Loretta Lynch for US Attorney General), go to How to contact NC’s US Senators – Burr and Tillis.