The Latest: Black caucus urges senator to end judges freeze

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2016 4:42 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on recorded comments U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., made at a private Republican event (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

The head of the Congressional Black Caucus says U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has created a judicial emergency in North Carolina by blocking President Barack Obama's judicial appointments in the state, where there's been a vacancy for nearly 11 years.

Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina pounced after Burr reportedly took credit at a private Republican gathering for blocking Obama's federal court nominees. Burr also vowed to keep Hillary Clinton from filling U.S. Supreme Court vacancies if she is elected.

Butterfield said in a statement that Burr's obstruction goes against democracy and the U.S. constitution.

Butterfield also criticized Burr for joking about Clinton's photo appearing without a bulls-eye on the cover of a gun magazine. The Republican senator apologized for that remark, but the Democratic congressman says his apology doesn't go far enough.

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10:30 a.m.

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr is apologizing after he was caught telling Republican supporters that he was surprised Hillary Clinton appeared on the cover of a gun magazine without a bull's-eye on her face.

Burr issued a statement shortly after CNN reported his comments Monday, saying they were inappropriate.

Democratic challenger Deborah Ross says Burr's comments are divisive. She says it is irresponsible to joke about gun violence against her party's presidential nominee.

Gun control groups including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called Burr's comments irresponsible and dangerous in a country strained by disputes over gun rights.

Burr has pledged to support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who was criticized earlier this year when he said Second Amendment advocates might find a way to stop Hillary Clinton from rolling back gun rights.