by Max Brantley
It is that Sen. Blanche Lincoln is feeling uncomfortable about the fuss raised by black lawyers over the all-white slate of nine names sent to President Obama for three vacancies on the federal bench in Arkansas. Does that mean she'll work extra hard to find a black lawyer for the list of nominees that will go up for the just announced fourth judicial vacancy in Arkansas at Fort Smith? (Or, for real diversity, maybe an Oklahoman to go with the Texan she and Mark Pryor have suggested for the judgeship in South Arkansas.)
No, the rumor is that the makeup to black voters (Lincoln, like most Democrats, has depended on a strong black vote in past elections and has lavished money on notorious street money operators to get the job done) might come in U.S. attorney nominations. No word has been forthcoming on these so far. The most mentioned names for the jobs -- Michael Barnes in Little Rock and Conner Eldridge for the Western District -- are white males.
The Great Mentioner (as I think Art Buchwald dubbed him) also drops the name of former U.S. Attorney P. K. Holmes of Fort Smith in the hat for that fourth judgeship. Solid Democrat. Better than you can say about some on the earlier list of nine.
UPDATE: A reader, acknowledging that Sens. Pryor and Lincoln don't seem to have much familiarity with black members of the bar, sends along four fully qualified candidates for the bench: Circuit Judge Leon Jamison of Pine Bluff , Circuit Judge Don Glover of of McGehee, Circuit Judge Joyce Warren of Little Rock and Little Rock lawyer Troy Price. They're Democrats, too, Sen. Pryor.