Senators Dole, Burr Move NC Judicial Nominees Towards Senate Confirmation

February 24, 2005

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr today announced that North Carolina's judicial nominees have received the necessary signatures to receive a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dole and Burr have both signed their respective "blue slips" and have sent them to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter so the nominees can move forward in the confirmation process.

The nominations include Terrence W. Boyle to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, Robert J. Conrad to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of North Carolina, and James C. Dever, III to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The nominations were sent to the Senate by President Bush on February 14 and are expected to receive a hearing next week.

In addition, Gretchen C. F. Shappert was nominated for U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Each of the four nominees was nominated in the last Congress, though none received a hearing.

"I am so pleased that we can finally move forward with these nominations that have been unconscionably held up for too long," said Senator Dole. "I look forward to swift approval by the Judiciary Committee and final confirmation before the U.S. Senate, and my hope is that petty politics do not get in the way of filling our court vacancies."

"For too long, even judicial nominees supported by a majority of United States Senators were tied up in partisan politics," said Burr. "As I have said, our judicial nominees deserve an up-or-down vote and I am proud to join with Senator Dole in assisting these four North Carolinians in moving forward in the confirmation process. By signing these blue slips, these North Carolinians are one step closer to a vote on the Senate floor."

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