Graves feels pressure of appeals court success

By Shelia Byrd/The Associated Press

JACKSON – Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves says he’ll feel pressure to do a good job on the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Graves, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in June, will become the first black judge from Mississippi to serve on the 5th Circuit, which handles cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
He was confirmed unanimously Monday by the U.S. Senate.
Graves, 57, told reporters Tuesday he was humbled and honored by the support he received.
“It’s a very important job. It’s public service. The awesomeness of the task is probably the weight that I feel. There’s a self-imposed pressure to do a good job,” Graves said. “It makes you feel like you want to live up to people’s beliefs and expectations in your capacity to do a job.”
Graves’ nomination had broad support, including from Mississippi’s two Republican senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker.
Wicker said Graves’ experience should serve the 5th Circuit “and the people of Mississippi well.”
When asked if he had doubts about his confirmation by the Senate, Graves declined to discuss the process in detail but said he was never certain he’d be approved but was happy he was.