The Miami herald covers it here:
It's no wonder U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio recommended seasoned Miami lawyer Mary Barzee Flores to fill an opening on the busy federal judiciary in South Florida more than a year ago.
She worked her way through the University of Miami and its law school, spent more than two decades as an assistant federal public defender and state circuit court judge, then joined a top commercial law firm before applying for a coveted federal judgeship.
“What a spectacular judge,” said Miami lawyer Edward Blumberg, a former president of the Florida Bar Association, recalling his experience trying a complex medical malpractice case in front of her. “She's one of the best judges I've seen statewide.”
Rubio thought so, too. But since Barzee Flores' nomination by President Barack Obama a year ago, the Miami Republican now running for his party's presidential nomination has held up her confirmation by not allowing the Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward with it.
Rubio, who had recommended Barzee Flores along with his Florida colleague, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, has not submitted a so-called blue slip that would set the wheels in motion for her confirmation — a decision seemingly in lockstep with the GOP-led Senate’s strategy to “slow-walk” the Democratic president’s judicial nominees since early last year. Only 16 federal district and appellate judges have been confirmed since last year by the Senate, including four nominated after Barzee Flores. The president nominated her on Feb. 26, 2015, and Nelson, a Democrat, returned his blue slip for her confirmation immediately.
Rubio's critics, including some in the Republican Party, say his dilatory strategy is indefensible because, in Barzee Flores, the senator is blocking an ideal candidate for a federal judgeship that has been vacant for almost two years. Indeed, the position has been deemed by the court as a “judicial emergency,” leaving other federal judges with heavier caseloads in South Florida.
“I've been honestly shocked by his lack of responsibility as a U.S. senator,” said Miami lawyer Tom Spencer, a Republican who supported Rubio against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist for the Senate in 2010, but backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during this presidential primary season. “She's an excellent judge. There is absolutely no reason for him not to move forward with her confirmation. It's an absolute outrage and slap in the face of the people of Florida.”