Judicial scoop | Arkansas Blog

Judicial scoop



Brummett blog reports that Court of Appeals Judge Brian Miller of Helena-West Helena, a black lawyer who enjoys support from the state's two Democratic senators, will get the nod to fill the federal judicial vacancy created by the death of George Howard. Howard was the only black on the district court bench in Arkansas.

Miller, a Huckabee appointee to an unexpired term, comes from a prominent political (Democratic) family in eastern Arkansas. Two Little Rock lawyers with solid Republican credentials, Chuck Banks and Kevin Crass, also were among those being considered for the appointment, along with Leon Johnson and Marie Bernarde-Miller of Little Rock and Jeanette Robertson of Jonesboro.

My recollection of a talk we had when I broke the news of his appointment by Huckabee early this year (it came without press notice), is that Miller indicated that he had typically, if not exclusively, voted Democratic through the years.

Interesting scuttlebutt as I call around confirming Brummett's news: That Sens. Pryor and Lincoln made it clear Democrats would fight nomination of anyone but a black candidate. Which is stronger than merely indicating a preference, as they had from the beginning. Pryor reportedly was guided by Sen. Charles Schumer in deciding how Democrats would feel about nomination of a white candidate from a state without a black on the district court bench (but one of the few represented by a black on the appellate bench.)


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