WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2013 – Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement in response to today’s vote to confirm Brian J. Davis to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida:

We are pleased that the Senate finally has voted to confirm Brian J. Davis to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.    But it took far too long to reach this point.

This nomination was a case study in mindless obstruction.  For months, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., blocked the nomination.  He took advantage of a courtesy in which the Judiciary Committee does not hold a hearing on a nominee unless both home-state Senators approve by returning what’s known as a “blue slip.”

Unfortunately, Sen. Rubio continues to block another highly qualified nominee, William Thomas, who has been nominated to fill a long-vacant judgeship in Florida’s Southern District.  If confirmed, Thomas would become the nation’s first openly gay black male federal judge.  But Rubio is willing to delay justice for his own constituents just to advance his political agenda.

Because of such abuses, the Senate soon may have no choice but to revisit the blue slip custom.

 Read more about Sen. Rubio’s obstruction of the Thomas nomination on AFJ’s Justice Watch blog 

 Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.  Learn more about Alliance for Justice at afj.org.