Marco Rubio, embroiled in a judge controversy of his own in Florida, broke his silence of more than a year to explain why he blocked the nomination of Mary Barzee Flores, Politico reports.
Rubio earlier this week said he had "concerns" about the honesty about two of the answers Barzee Flores gave during the vetting process.
"And that right there is going to make it almost impossible for her to get confirmed," Rubio said, according to Politico. "We cannot waste time with a nominee that is not going to get a vote with the committee and is not going to be approved."
The legal community is calling out Rubio for being disingenuous, that he's blocking Barzee Flores' nomination because she's a Democrat.
"The senator's argument is silly and sophomoric," a supporter of Barzee Flores told Politico. "And it's sad. And it's an example of the rank political extremism that has taken hold of the Republican Party."
The two answers that concern Rubio are the judge's involvement in a case from 2001 when Barzee Flores was a defense attorney, and her disclosure about support for groups that advocate abortion rights. Rubio said she told the Democrat-heavy Judicial Nominating Committee one thing, but the Republican-heavy Senate Judiciary Committee something else, Politico reports.
"It's pretty easy to say, 'You told us one thing and the (JNC) another' — sounds flimsy to me," Marcos Jimenez, a Republican and former U.S. attorney in South Florida told Politico.
And as for the 2001 case, Jimenez said, "This case happened more than 15 years ago, she was not the primary lawyer on the case."
Rubio said he had been silent on his blocking of the nomination out of respect for Barzee Flores, reports Politico.
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