(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are upset at the blocking of judges.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are accusing Republicans of blocking African American judicial nominees.
Of President Obama's judicial nominees, 17 percent are African American. And yet, nearly one-third of nominees pending before the Senate are African American. Many of those have been pending for months — some more than a year — and many have yet to even be called for a confirmation hearing.
"The Congressional Black Caucus will not quietly allow highly-qualified African American judges to be sidelined without hearings or to be held up on the floor or to be held up because there are no blue slips from being voted out of committee," Holmes Norton says.
Members of the Black Caucus point to the Trayvon Martin trial, arguing that the judicial system was stacked in favor of his killer, George Zimmerman, who was acquitted. Holmes Norton says the judiciary should reflect the population.
"As our country has become one of the most diverse in the world, a judiciary that reflects that diversity is virtually mandatory today," she says. "Respect for the rule of law requires respect for the fairness of the judiciary."
Holmes Norton is urging Republican senators to fast track judicial nominations ahead of their August recess.