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U.S. Senate to vote Wednesday on confirmation of Ronnie White for federal judgeship

White
White

Ronnie White’s long journey to become a federal judge may be at an end.

The former Missouri Supreme Court judge who became embroiled in a vicious political fight between John Ashcroft and Mel Carnahan in the late 1990s faces a U.S. Senate confirmation vote on Wednesday.

Insiders expect him to be confirmed to a seat on the bench in eastern Missouri, though the vote could be close.

This is a rare second chance for White. The Senate rejected him the first time in 1999 on a party-line vote after then-Sen. Ashcroft called him pro-criminal and weak on death penalty cases.

White, now 60, and his many supporters fiercely protested to no avail.

That President Barack Obama would nominate someone as old as White suggests that he, too, believes that the judge got a raw deal more than a decade ago. Presidents typically prefer to leave something of a judicial legacy when they leave office, meaning they prefer younger judges who share their political philosophy and will carry that forward for years to come.

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