For all Mississippi’s many problems, the state’s congressional leadership has a long record of getting presidents to make good choices for federal judge positions. Miss. Court of Appeals Judge Cory Wilson’s nomination for a Southern District U.S. District Court judgeship is the latest example.

This one is unsurprising for a couple of reasons. First, it’s been a rumor for a while. Second, legal gossips have been throwing Wilson’s name around as an obvious candidate for potential federal judge openings for at least a decade. He checks all the boxes:

  • stellar academic credentials;
  • diverse experience in private practice;
  • diverse public service experience that both credentialed him for a position like this and raised his profile in political circles; and
  • he’s nice and people like him.

The only hole I see in his resume is never attending LSU.

Don’t underestimate the importance of being nice and liked. You know who does not get federal court nominations in Mississippi? Jerks who no one likes to deal with.

I can’t speak to sitting judges nominated before I started practicing, but the biggest common denominator of federal court nominees since 1993 is popularity within the Bar. It doesn’t matter if the person came from private practice, a trial court bench, an appellate court bench, a magistrate position, wherever. People who get federal court nominations are professional, nice, friendly and popular. I can’t think of a single exception.

I have heard nothing but positive reaction to Wilson’s nomination and the speculation before that. I’m not surprised. It’s a solid choice. He will breeze through confirmation.

Before anyone asks, the answer is no, I don’t know which courthouse he is going to. Hattiesburg or Gulfport are the obvious leading contenders.