“Senator Rubio recently returned the blue slip for three judges to fill other vacancies throughout Florida, but he will not return the blue slip on Ms. Barzee Flores," spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said.The Miami Herald did a longer story, with quotes from people in the community backing Mary:
"Florida has very busy federal courts and Senator Rubio would like to see judicial vacancies filled promptly with consensus picks who can be swiftly confirmed in a period of divided government. During the Obama administration, there has been an unfortunate trend toward the judiciary playing a more active role in policy-making, which is why Senator Rubio would rather see a judgeship remain vacant than to fill it with the wrong person for a lifetime."
Barzee Flores’ supporters in the legal community — including Miami-Dade, state and national police organizations, as well as prominent former state and federal prosecutors on both sides of the political spectrum — say they are baffled by Rubio’s decision to block her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.They noted that his reasoning, based on his office’s statement, was contradictory, evasive and reflective of the political divisiveness in the GOP-controlled Senate, which votes on the president’s judicial appointments.Really sucks. I don't really get it either -- why back the person only to withhold the blue slip?
“It’s unfortunate that Mary has apparently fallen victim to the extreme political partisanship that is plaguing federal judicial nominations,” said former U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.
Jimenez, who had served on Bush’s legal team in Florida’s 2000 presidential election dispute with Democrat Al Gore, said Barzee Flores is “extremely qualified and would make a great judge.”
Last year, Jimenez joined four other former U.S. attorneys in Miami — Roberto Martinez, Thomas Scott, Guy Lewis and Jeffrey Sloman — in a letter supporting her confirmation to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, and a ranking member, Sen. Patrick Leahy.
“We know how important it is to have smart, fair, hard-working judges on the federal bench,” they wrote in March 2015. “Mary fits the bill.”
Their letter noted that three former U.S. attorneys in Miami who serve on Florida’s Federal Judicial Nominating Commission — Alex Acosta, Kendall Coffey and Dexter Lehtinen — recommended her to President Obama.
I guess the upside it that If HRC wins, Mary can be renominated. And since Rubio's seat will also change, I wouldn't say this is over just yet.