While he is busy trying to court the African-American vote by smearing and distorting Deborah Ross’s record, Sen. Richard Burr continues to block the president’s judicial appointments to the Eastern District of North Carolina, leaving it vacant for over a decade. And as a result, for over a decade, the good people of the Eastern District have been without an advocate to defend and preserve the Constitution and administer justice.
President Obama twice appointed smart, highly qualified African-American women to this vacancy in the most racially diverse district in North Carolina, but Burr has yet to even submit their name for consideration. In fact, when the appointments were made, Burr stated that he will block the nominees and held true to his word.
He has become to many, the “Chief of Obstructionists.” His blocking these two well-qualified African-Americans from a federal judgeship should tell voters one thing; he is not serious about African-American advancement and mobility.
Our courts have to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. It’s clear Burr simply wants our votes so he can continue to protect his own interests and the interests of those who contribute millions of dollars to his campaign – not our interests.
The African-American community can no longer afford Richard Burr. Blocking highly qualified African-American judicial nominees is just one example. He also voted to allow cuts to Social Security and wrote his own plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program. He voted to raise his own pay seven times but opposed raising the minimum wage.
He voted to cut taxes for millionaires like himself but voted to raise taxes on middle-class families. And he even voted against North Carolina’s own Loretta Lynch for U.S. Attorney General.
It’s time to tell Burr he missed his chance to earn African-Americans’ votes. Blocking African-American appointees is an unacceptable decision and an affront to the African-American community.
It is clear that the only chance for justice for the Eastern District and the African-American community is to elect Deborah Ross to the United States Senate. Deborah has been an ally to the African-American community in her 10 years in the state House – raising the state minimum wage, expanding voter access, leading bipartisan racial profiling reform and growing funding for education for our children. She is a clear choice this November.
Earl C. Johnson
Former president, RWCA Founder, The Dream Center