Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court again.
White's nomination by President Barack Obama marks the third time he has been put forth as a potential federal judge.
White was twice nominated by President Bill Clinton for a federal judgeship in the 1990s. But the Senate defeated White's appointment in 1999 after he was opposed by then-U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri.
Ashcroft, a Republican, contended that White, a Democrat, was soft on the death penalty and drug law enforcement and called him "pro-criminal."
In 2001, White testified against Ashcroft in a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing after Ashcroft was nominated by President George W. Bush to become attorney general. White contended that Ashcroft had "seriously distorted" his record as a judge. But Ashcroft ultimately was confirmed as attorney general.
Obama said Thursday that White had been nominated to replace retired U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton in the Eastern District of Missouri.
White, 60, served on the Missouri Supreme Court from 1995 to 2007 and was the chief justice from mid-2003 to mid-2005. Since White resigned, he has worked as an attorney in private practice in St. Louis.
White got his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He defended indigent suspects for the St. Louis public defender's office before later opening a private legal practice. He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in a special election in 1989 and resigned in 1993 to become city counselor under St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr.
Then-Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed White to the Eastern District of the state Court of Appeals in 1994 and selected him for the state Supreme Court in October 1995. White was the first black judge appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court.