Both Jackson attorneys, they are Debra Brown of the Wise Carter Child & Caraway firm and La’Verne Edney with Baker Donelson.
Reported months ago, Oxford-based U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams also is in the mix.
Pepper died suddenly in January 2012.
If any of the three is nominated and confirmed, she will become the state’s first black female federal judge. U.S. district judges serve until they resign, die or are removed from office.