Graves: Nation will watch successor

With U.S. Senate confirmation on Monday of the nomination of state Supreme Court Judge James Graves to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Gov. Haley Barbour faces a decision that will draw nationwide attention.

Under state law, Barbour will appoint Graves’ replacement to serve the two years remaining on the justice’s term. Normally, the nation doesn’t pay much attention when governors appoint replacements for state supreme court justices who are promoted, resign or die in office.

But given Barbour’s status as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, his decision regarding a replacement for Graves on the state’s highest court will be watched nationwide.

Clarion Ledger Editorial