Slow-walking judges | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slow-walking judges

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Arkansas's senators put forward the name of P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith for a federal judgeship in mid-December. (And a good nominee it was.) Four months later, President Obama has finally nominated him for confirmation by the Senate, where Republicans have been freezing virtually every Obama judicial nominee. Two other vacancies in Arkansas, one in South Arkansas and one in Little Rock, still await Obama nominations though several suggestions have been made by the senators.

This is no formula for getting done one of the most important and lasting legacies of any president, populating the judiciary.

Even more perplexing is Obama's failure to fill U.S. attorney positions more than 15 months into his term.

PS -- Whispers are that action may be imminent on the U.S. attorneys -- Michael Barnes in Little Rock and a hazier picture in the Western District, maybe Conner Eldridge of Arkadelphia. The latter selection has been complicated by the Arkansas senators' belated effort to bring a black candidate into consideration for at least one of the six judicial and U.S. attorney slots open. All initial contenders they suggested were white. A black lawyer in Texarkana, who was added for judicial consideration after the death of one candidate, withdrew from consideration when the senators tried to persuade him to take a U.S. attorney slot instead. A political insider who's lived in Texas until recently is considered the front-runner for the South Arkansas judgeship. You hear all kinds of rumors about the remaining judgeship in Little Rock, including that a new search may be underway for a black candidate.

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