A circuit judge from Little Rock has won Senate confirmation to become a federal judge, but that comes with the complication of his father having to exit his post as a U.S. district judge.
The Senate voted 95-4 on Tuesday to confirm Judge James "Jay" Moody Jr. to preside in the Eastern District of Arkansas. His father, U.S. District Judge James Moody, announced earlier he'd retire if his son was confirmed.
The sitting judge's office said he was still on the bench as of Tuesday.
Jay Moody has been a circuit judge in Pulaski County since 2003 and earlier was a partner in the Wright, Lindsey & Jennings law firm.
Moody was nominated by Pres. Obama and had the support of both of Arkansas' senators, Democrat Mark Pryor and Republican John Boozman.
In a joint statement, the senators applauded the confirmation.
Sen. Boozman wrote:
Judge Moody’s legal career demonstrates his pursuit of justice. I believe his experience makes him a great fit for U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas and I am confident that he will continue to pursue the interest of the law during his service on the bench.
Sen. Pryor wrote:
Arkansas only has eight U.S. District Judges, and we’ve been waiting months now for two outstanding, and non-controversial, candidates to be confirmed. I’m pleased my colleagues have finally allowed Judge Moody’s confirmation to go through.
As I’ve said from the beginning of this process, Judge Moody not only meets, but exceeds the qualities we want in our judges. He’s well-qualified, he’s fair and impartial, and he has the proper judicial temperament. I’m confident he will serve our state with distinction.