WASHINGTON – Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., plans to seek a vote this week on the confirmation of Pulaski County Circuit Judge James "Jay" Moody Jr., and Fayetteville attorney Timothy L. Brooks to fill federal judicial slots in Arkansas.
Pryor issued notice Tuesday that he plans to ask for the votes, citing a looming deadline in Arkansas for candidates seeking the Pulaski County Circuit judgeship now held by Moody.
"There is a real sense of urgency here because one of these is an elected judge and the filing period for this seat opens up on February 24 and closes on March 3," Pryor said on the Senate floor.
If the Senate fails to take up the nominations this week, the next opportunity for a vote will come on Feb. 24 – when the Senate next returns to session. That could leave other lawyers and judges interested in replacing Moody in limbo as the filing period opens, he said.
Pryor noted that Moody and Brooks are non-controversial — both cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and are strongly supported by Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.
The Judiciary Committee recently approved more than a dozen judicial nominations that President Obama resubmitted at the start of the year, including Moody and Brooks.
The two Arkansans had been nominated last year but the Senate did not hold confirmation votes on either — or along with a slew of other nominations – before the year ended. Both nominees had won approval in 2013 by the Senate Judiciary Committee and were endorsed by Pryor and Boozman.
Moody is nominated to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas, which includes Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Jonesboro.
Brooks is nominated to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Western District of Arkansas, which includes Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Hot Springs.