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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pryor: Urgency on vote on judicial nominations

Posted By on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:04 PM

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is pressing for a Senate vote this week to confirm two non-controversial judicial appointees in Arkansas — Circuit Judge Jay Moody for a district judgeship in Little Rock and Timothy Brooks of Fayetteville for a seat in the western district of Arkansas.

Stephens Media quoted Pryor:

“There is a real sense of urgency here because one of these is an elected judge and the filing period for this seat opens up on February 24 and closes on March 3,” Pryor said on the Senate floor.

If the Senate fails to take up the nominations this week, the next opportunity for a vote will come on Feb. 24 – when the Senate next returns to session. That could leave other lawyers and judges interested in replacing Moody in limbo as the filing period opens, he said.

Moody's seat is on the ballot this year. Luther Sutter has already announced for the position.

Mike Reif's campaign announced today that he'd qualified by petition for the position to be vacated by retiring Judge Collins Kilgore. A potential candidate left up in the air is Cathi Compton, who's announced her candidacy for a judgeship, but has been reluctant to file for her friend Moody's seat until it's clear he wont' be filing for re-election himself.

It won't be easy, unless John Boozman puts his weight behind it. Republicans haven't been allowing floor votes on judicial nominations. 32 are in waiting. Only one vote so far this year. Plus, Carl Tobias of the Richmond law school tells me that Moody is down the list and the Senate has not been "leapfrogging" nominees."The only way it could happen fast is if [Senate leader Harry] Reid moves for cloture but Senate is out all next week."

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