The appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor has broken a logjam at the Senate Judiciary Committee and at least five new U.S. Attorneys have been named. Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy says he hopes the rest can be considered when Congress returns in September.
Melinda Meador is still the leading candidate to be the new U.S. Attorney in Knoxville. She is an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims and has been active in the effort to stop military tribunals. [See our Feb. 12, 2009 cover story, "We the People."] She is a board member of Tennessee's ACLU.
There are those in the Knoxville legal community who have a concern that a Democrat in the Tennessee delegation may be holding up the nomination, using it as a bargaining chip with the Obama administration for something else. Or perhaps one of the Blue Dogs doesn't like her politics. But the most likely reason is because Sotomayor's nomination occupied the Senate Judiciary Committee to the point that nominations are backed up in the pipeline.