UPDATE: Adams wins Senate panel OK for North MS U.S. attorney

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Felicia Adams’ nomination to the North Mississippi’s next U.S. attorney won approval 10-0 this morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 51-year-old Holly Springs native must win a majority of the U.S. Senate to take the Oxford-based post vacated by Bush appointee James Greenlee early in 2010.

If approved, she will become the state’s first female in the job.

It wasn’t immediately clear when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will schedule her vote by the full membership.

The U.S. attorney is the government’s top lawyer in a specific jurisdiction and oversees a staff of attorneys working on criminal and civil cases on behalf of the government.

Adams is the top assistant U.S. attorney in Jackson’s Southern District, where she’s worked since early 2000. Before that, she was an assistant U.S. attorney in Oxford.

The Northern District has been without a presidentially appointed U.S. attorney since Greenlee’s departure.

Speculation about President Obama’s nominee for the office has bounced around since his election in 2008.

Mississippi is one of the last states to get a new U.S. attorney nomination.

Why it’s taken so long to get a replacement for Greenlee isn’t immediately clear, but some political observers say Republican-leaning Mississippi is not high on the Democratic president’s political agenda.

The Southern District in Jackson continues without a presidential nominee, and career lawyer John Dowdy is its acting U.S. attorney.

In Oxford, interim leadership has come from assistants Bill Martin and now John Marshall Alexander from appointments by the District Court.