The Hattiesburg American, 2/18/9

Rep. Bennie Thompson has reopened a debate over the name of a new federal courthouse in Jackson.

Thompson, a Democrat who represents the 2nd District, recently introduced a bill that would name the courthouse under construction in downtown Jackson after the late R. Jess Brown, a civil rights lawyer in Jackson. Thompson introduced a similar bill in early 2007.

But some want the courthouse to be named after Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who used his senior position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to secure millions of dollars to build it.

To support those wishes, former Sen. Trent Lott also introduced a bill in 2007 that would name the courthouse after Cochran.

Neither bill won final approval in the last Congress.

There has not been a bill introduced to rename the courthouse – expected to be completed in 18 to 20 months – after Cochran in this Congress.