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Marco Rubio, Do Your Job!


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It's "just not fun" that Rubio continues to refuse to turn in the blue slip necessary to get a vote on Mary Barzee Flores' nomination to fill an "emergency seat" on the SD FL.

Here is Senator Leahy yesterday on the failure to get qualified judicial nominees on the federal bench:
In the eleven months that the Senate has been under Republican control this year, the Senate has only voted to confirm 9 judges.  This obstruction has resulted in needless delays for hard-working Americans who seek justice in our Federal courts.  Currently pending on the Senate floor are nominees who would fill judicial emergency vacancies in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Minnesota, New Jersey, Iowa, New York, and California.  Senate Republicans have refused to alleviate the urgent needs in those states.  It does not have to be this way.  When Senate Democrats were in the majority during the last two years of the Bush presidency, we had already confirmed 36 judges by this same time.  We made sure that we fulfilled our constitutional duty to provide advice and consent to ensure that the American people had a fully functioning Federal judiciary.
Senate Republicans’ obstruction has caused judicial vacancies to pile up across the country.  Since Senate Republicans took over the majority at the beginning of the year, judicial vacancies have increased by more than 50 percent.  The number of “judicial emergency” vacancies since Senate Republicans took the majority has risen by a stunning 158 percent.  The American people deserve better. 

We should follow well-established Senate precedent by confirming all consensus nominees before the end of the year.  Each of the judicial nominees pending on the Executive Calendar was reported out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote.  And each has the backing of their home state Senators, including Republican Senators.  In fact, the next nominee after Ms. Hall and Judge Restrepo is Travis McDonough who has been nominated to fill a judicial vacancy on the Eastern District of Tennessee.  Next week will mark the one year anniversary since Mr. McDonough was nominated, but it appears there is no relief in sight as his nomination continues to be held up by Senate Republicans, despite the strong support he has from his home state Senators, Senator Alexander and Senator Corker.  I see no reason why he and the rest of the nominees pending should not be confirmed before we recess at the end of the year.  As the New York Times put it in an editorial last Friday urging confirmation votes on all pending judicial nominees, “With each day that passes without a vote on Judge Restrepo and other nominees, Republicans undermine the justice system, and the biggest victims are ordinary Americans who cannot count on fully functioning courts.”
Enough already!

In fact, Senator Reid today actually addressed the specific issue of Rubio's mistreatment of Mary's nomination: 
Republicans should also help us to confirm Judge Mary Barzee Flores to the Southern District Court of Florida. Unfortunately, Judge Barzee Flores’ nomination has been held up due to the same delaying tactics that Senator Toomey used to stall Judge Restrepo. But this nominee is being delayed by one of the many Republicans running for President – the junior Senator from Florida.

Senators Nelson and Rubio jointly recommended Judge Barzee Flores to the Southern District Court of Florida.  President Obama nominated Ms. Flores on February 26, 2015, eight months ago. This Miami-based seat is considered another judicial emergency. It has been without a Senate-confirmed judge for more than a year.

Like her counterpart in Pennsylvania, Judge Barzee Flores has an impeccable record. In fact, her nomination won wide praise in the Florida press.  She’s a familiar face to many in the legal community in South Florida, having served on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami for more than a decade. Prior to her judicial service, Judge Barzee Flores worked as a public defender for 13 years. By any measure, Judge Barzee Flores is well qualified and deserves a hearing in the Judiciary Committee.

Senator Bill Nelson indicated his support eight months ago. But Senator Rubio refuses to sign off on Judge Barzee Flores and he is the only obstacle stopping the nomination from moving forward. It’s puzzling that Senator Rubio is delaying a judge that he helped recommend to President Obama.

Without Senator Rubio’s approval, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee will not schedule a hearing on the Barzee Flores nomination. Even with his busy schedule, Senator Rubio should be able to find thirty seconds to sign the blue slip paperwork that would allow Judge Barzee Flores to move forward with a hearing. The junior Senator from Florida simply needs to sign a piece of paper to advance a qualified nominee he recommended.  Using Senator Toomey’s playbook, he refuses to do so – and his constituents are paying the price.
Enough already (already)!

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