UPDATE: Mississippi's Graves wins historic approval to 5th Circuit

By NEMS Daily Journal reports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mississippi Supreme Court justice James Graves of Clinton will be the first African-American judge from Mississippi on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals after today’s U.S. Senate approval of his nomination.

Graves’ nomination was approved on a voice vote about 4:30 p.m. Mississippi time.

His move will leave open a seat on the state’s highest court.

Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker hailed their colleagues’ vote.

“I believe James Graves is well qualified for service as a Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit,” Cochran said. “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.”

Wicker agreed:

“Justice Graves achieved widespread, bipartisan support, and I am glad the Senate confirmed his nomination today,” said Wicker. “His experience and judicial knowledge should serve the Fifth Circuit and the people of Mississippi well.”

Support from the Mississippi Senators helped move Graves’ nomination forward after it appeared to be stalled at the end of the 111th Congress in December. President Obama resubmitted the Graves nomination in January, and the Senate Judiciary Committee last week again recommended his confirmation.

Graves is a Presiding Justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court. A native of Clinton, Graves was a Circuit Court Judge in Hinds County before ascending to 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.

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