Judging the candidate
Update on the extended process to find a replacement for federal District Judge James Moody, who took senior status, a form of retirement, several years ago:
Multiple sources report that background checks have begun on Kris Baker, a partner in the Quattlebaum law firm in Little rock. That would make her the leader in consideration for nomination by the White House. A Senate confirmation process would follow, ever more chancy as the 2012 election nears and already-obstructive Republicans become more obstructive of the president's nominees.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor also had recommended Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Duke and Public Service Commission Chairman Colette Honorable for the position. This slate followed the White House rejection of an earlier slate of three candidates.
Also on the judgeship front: A Senate calendar released this week shows Democrats have managed to break the logjam on judicial confirmation votes and will get a vote on 10 White House nominees some time after Oct. 11. That's good news for Circuit Judge Susan Hickey of El Dorado, who'll get a vote on her nomination to a judgeship for the western district of Arkansas.