By NEMS Daily Journal
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. for a seat on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Graves, who was confirmed by a voice vote, becomes the 5th Circuit’s first black judge from Mississippi.
Gov. Haley Barbour said after the confirmation that he will appoint Graves’ replacement for the Supreme Court soon.
Graves’ confirmation came after statements of support from Mississippi’s two senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker.
“I am pleased the Senate has completed the confirmation process so that Justice Graves can take up the important work of serving on the federal bench,” Cochran said after the vote.
Added Wicker, “His experience and judicial knowledge should serve the 5th Circuit and the people of Mississippi well.”
Graves, the only black on the state’s highest court, was nominated in June by President Barack Obama.
“Throughout his career James E. Graves has shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service,” Obama said at the time. “I am proud to nominate him to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.”
Graves’ nomination appeared to be stalled when Congress ended in December, but Obama resubmitted it in January and the Senate Judiciary Committee last week again recommended his confirmation.
A native of Clinton, Graves was a Circuit Court judge in Hinds County before joining the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2001.
He received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Millsaps College, a law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law and a master of public administration degree from Syracuse University.
The 5th Circuit hears appeals from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.