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.

My Take:

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.

  • Lash LaRue

    Continuing to have Judges Jordan and Ozerden on the District Court bench is a bad thing?

  • Mag1

    When the Washington Post reported on this last week (I posted to the previous post) Jonathan Adler was pretty clear that the appointments filled the two Texas vacancies (King & Garza’s seats), the Louisiana vacancy (Davis), and the impending Louisiana vacancy of Clement who takes senior status upon the confirmation of her replacement. You may be right and the Washington Post may be wrong, but I’ve not seen any evidence that any of the four named last week were named to Seat #2 (Jolly’s seat).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/09/28/four-for-the-5th-circuit-and-other-new-judicial-nominations/?utm_term=.f5d0133baa66

  • Pete Perry

    Clement’s seat ‘becomes vacant” upon the confirmation of her replacement, according to all that I have seen. Thus, it appears that the 2nd LA nomination is for the Clement’s seat – otherwise, it is not a vacancy. While one might try to make this into the loss of a “Mississippi seat” it certainly doesn’t appear that way to others that appear to be closer to the story. My read is that while the two Senators – those that confirm the appointment – have agreed upon a nominee, there are others (Federalist ??) that are trying to inject themselves into the process.

    Pretending that the Clement’s seat is not involved makes for a good story, but it ignores a critical part of the story.

    • Philip Thomas

      “Pretending that the Clement’s seat is not involved makes for a good story, but it ignores a critical part of the story.”

      The post literally talks about the Clement seat being part of the story.

      • Pete Perry

        I agree, sorry if it read wrong. But the Clement seat – that becomes vacant upon confirmation – does account for two LA appointees. I have seen nothing that indicated that the Jolly seat is one that is being filled, although the protocol for ‘naming’ seats is slightly above my pay grade and I might be missing a technical detail. If/when the fifth position on the 5th is covered, and if it doesn’t go to a Mississippian, then I would agree with the concept that for whatever reason:

        “Let’s be clear. Mississippi lost Judge Jolly’s seat last week”

        Until that fifth position is nominated, and confirmed, I don’t think that Mississippi has lost anything. I don’t believe anybody gets to choose when their name is submitted by the WH, so the guy taking Clement’s seat is not in a position to “wait” based on some folks’ so-called “perception”. My question is, who has determined the seats that are being filled by these four nominations? My reading of the nominations and news reports does not identify any tit-for-tat replacements.

  • KP601

    Pete Perry shows up to carry GOP water. Raise your hand if you are truly surprised.

    • Pete Perry

      KP601, Actually, I believe I am only stating the obvious, and doing so under my name, not some made up alias. Tell me where what I had to say was toting anybody’s water vs discussing the issues raised in the post. What did I say that was incorrect? Thanks.

    • Pete Perry

      Sorry I toted all that water that concerned you – but maybe now that somebody reads the reality and uses common sense rather than speculates, you can realize that water bucket ain’t nearly so heavy.

  • Andrew Neely

    Looking forward to Sens Cochran and Wicker putting Chris McDaniel up for the seat when the post opens up.

    • Andy Lowry

      Don’t even say it.

  • Eric Tiebauer

    It would be a shame to lose Judge Dan Jordan as a United States District Judge. He his such a pleasure to try a case before. Extremely well informed and absolutely impartial. Of course, he would be an excellent 5th Circuit choice for the same reasons. I have enjoyed each one of our Federal Judges in the South of I-20. I have not been before the Northern District Judges. In 24 years of practice in several states, I can honestly say Mississippi is blessed with some of the most talented Lawyers and Judges in the Nation.

    • Pieter T.

      Agree with you Eric, both on your experience with Judge Jordan (same experience as you in trial before him), and about the Mississippi federal judiciary overall – including magistrates. Mississippi is blessed with an incredible federal bench. Here’s hoping that trend continues and one of ours somehow succeeds Judge Jolly (whom I have also enjoyed arguing before).

      I’ve won some, and lost some. Regardless of result, our federal judiciary tries really hard to get it right and maintains the utmost professionalism. These observations say something positive about our senators as well.