President Biden has announced his intent to nominate Ryan Park of North Carolina to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Park currently serves as solicitor general of North Carolina and was deputy solicitor general from 2017 to 2020.

Tapping Park for the post has drawn criticism from North Carolina’s Sens. Thom Tillis and Ted Budd, who issued a joint statement opposing the appointment.

“This nomination is a non-starter and the White House has already been informed they do not have the votes for confirmation,” Tillis and Budd said. “While the White House has fallen short of engaging the advice and consent process in good faith for North Carolina’s judicial vacancies, we still hope to work together to find a consensus nominee who can earn bipartisan support and be confirmed.”

However, Democrats control the US Senate, which is charged with approving the president’s picks. The Senate will hold committee hearings on Park’s nomination and, if approved, he would face a full Senate floor vote. In his role as the state’s solicitor general, Park has played a pivotal role in fighting Republican-led policy passed by the state legislature.

“It shouldn’t surprise us much that North Carolina’s two senators are raising concerns about the Ryan Park nomination,” said Mitch Kokai, John Locke Foundation senior political analyst. “As the state’s solicitor general, Park has been a top lieutenant for Attorney General Josh Stein and Gov. Roy Cooper when they have put on their hats as partisan Democrats to challenge Republican legislators in court. Even in legal fights over redistricting, when Stein and Cooper have had no constitutional role in the process, Park has dutifully put forward their arguments for blocking GOP lawmakers’ actions.”

“Whatever his merits as a lawyer and constitutional expert, his ties to North Carolina’s most prominent Democratic Party leaders were bound to raise eyebrows among Republicans on Capitol Hill,” Kokai added.

Park also clerked under Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter on the US Supreme Court from 2013 to 2014. He worked in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the US Department of State in the Obama administration.

According to the White House press announcement, this marks Biden’s 52nd round of nominations for federal judicial positions, increasing the total number of nominees to 251 since the beginning of his term.