An unidentified U.S. senator appears to have placed a secret hold on the confirmation of gay law professor Chai Feldblum and four others to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

All the nominations, including Feldblum’s, were approved by a Senate committee in December.

According to Lisa Keen of Keen News Service, “There is no indication in the Congressional Record or the Senate Calendar as to who has put the hold on the confirmation of Feldblum and the others. While the Congress recently enacted legislation to make it harder for senators to anonymously put such holds on confirmations and bills, there are still ways in which they can do so.” Keen is the former editor of the Washington Blade.

Keen reports that Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama put a hold on more than 70 nominations last month to leverage support for defense contracts for his state. However, he claims he removed all but a few of the holds, which remain unidentified but relate to national security, he says.

A spokesman for Senate majority leader Harry Reid told Keen that Reid is “working to get an agreement” with Republicans on the confirmation of Feldblum and other EEOC appointees.