Politics may complicate federal court pick

To become a federal judge, an attorney must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Washington insiders with experience about such appointments were hesitant to speak publicly so soon after the judge’s death.

But a University of Mississippi journalism professor with longtime political perspective said anything can happen in a presidential election year, even in a very Republican-voting state with a Democrat seeking re-election.

“In an election year, with Republicans hoping to regain the White House, they’re hardly inclined to give serious consideration to any judicial nomination that Obama or other Democrats might be pushing,” said Joe B. Atkins.

“Back in the days of Boll Weevil and Blue Dog Democrats, there was more of a chance. Those days are gone. So, my guess is it’s a wait-and-see-till-November situation at the least.”