President Obama nominated Mary Barzee Flores for a U.S. district court judgeship in Florida in February after her name was forwarded to the White House by Sens. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Republican. However, Rubio now faces criticism over holding up action on her nomination, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
Her nomination isn’t on the agenda for the final scheduled meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee this year, and Rubio has not submitted the “blue slip” that would permit her nomination to come up for consideration there. His office says the senator is awaiting completion of the committee’s own vetting procedures.
With a backlog of cases, the vacant seat has been deemed a judicial emergency. The newspaper quotes Glenn Sugameli of Judging the Environment as saying judicial emergencies declared by the U.S. courts have “skyrocketed this year from 12 to 30 because of unjustifiable delays by Sen. Rubio and other home-state Republican senators.” Republican leaders say they are handling judicial nominations at a pace comparable to that of of Democrats when the latter controlled the Senate.