In June, I wrote about the nomination of Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on his nomination for September 29, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The proceedings may be viewed via webcast from the Committee’s Website.
On a related note, one of my fellow bloggers, Will Bardwell, revealed last week that a relatively conservative website called The Volokh Conspiracy published a post criticizing Justice Grave’s votes in three Mississippi judicial misconduct cases. The Volokh article implied that the distinction between Judge Graves’ vote in two of the cases, which involved white judges, versus the other case, which involved a black judge, may have racial overtones. The post on Will Bardwell’s blog contains a good discussion and analysis of the timing of the Volokh article, the questioned votes and the explanation behind the votes. Another friend and fellow blogger, Tom Freeland (NMissCommentor), has also posted a detailed discussion about the matter.
I won’t rehash the debate in this post because the above referenced posts do a fine job of discussing the matter. However, I have known Justice Graves long enough to say that I don’t believe his votes were motivated by race and I don’t believe that he will allow any decision he makes as a member of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to be based upon race. I suspect Justice Graves will confirm this at the confirmation hearing and I hope the Committee will accept his explanation and proceed to send his nomination to the Senate Floor for confirmation.