The A.P. has a short story today titled ‘Mississippi jurist should fill appellate seat, senators say.’ Here are the key passages:
Mississippi’s two Republican U.S. senators say they are working with President Donald Trump’s administration to fill a seat on a federal appeals court with someone from the state.
Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker said in a joint statement Monday it’s their priority to have “a well-qualified, constitutional conservative jurist” from Mississippi to succeed Judge Grady Jolly on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals…
“The administration understands that it is a priority to us that a Mississippian be nominated to fill this seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit,” the joint statement from Cochran and Wicker said. “We look forward to President Trump, with the advice and consent of the Senate, announcing such a nomination as soon as possible.”
Trump last week nominated two people from Texas and two from Louisiana to the 17-member court.
Three seats already were vacant. A federal court website shows that Judge Edith Brown Clement, of Louisiana, plans to retire from active court service, though no date has been set.
Same as last week. Cochran and Wicker blew it by letting it come to this.
Let’s be clear. Mississippi lost Judge Jolly’s seat last week.
Maybe we get it back when Judge Clement’s replacement is named. Then again, maybe not.
Several people contacted me after my original post to alert me that maybe we haven’t lost the seat because of the Clement vacancy. Insiders are hopeful. But not one person told me that Mississippi definitely will get the Clement seat–all said we might not. And Cochran and Wicker don’t say it either.
I was also contacted last week by lawyers from outside Mississippi. Their perception is that Mississippi lost the seat.
Bottom line is that it shouldn’t have come to this. The Louisianan who was named to Judge Jolly’s seat should be waiting on the Clement vacancy. Cochran and Wicker’s ‘Mississippi jurist’ should have been named last week.
This has not been handled well by Mississippi’s two senators. That will be true regardless of whether a Mississippian fills the next opening.