Senate Judiciary Committee endorses Moody for federal judgeship


WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to endorse Pulaski County Circuit Judge James “Jay” Moody Jr., to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Moody is the son of U.S. District James Moody, 73, who has served 18 years as a judge in the same district. The father plans to retire if his son wins confirmation from the full Senate.

The younger Moody, nominated to the federal bench in July by President Obama, currently is serving a second term as a circuit judge in Arkansas’ Sixth Judicial circuit. He was first elected to the state bench in 2003.

Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Jonesboro are included in the Eastern District of the federal court.

The committee endorsed his confirmation by voice vote.

As a state judge, Moody presides almost exclusively over civil cases. Before being elected to the court, Moody worked for more than a dozen years at the Wright Lindsey & Jennings law firm in Little Rock. He was named a partner in the firm in 1994.

The Judiciary Committee last month voted to confirm Fayetteville attorney Timothy L. Brooks for U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. The district includes Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Hot Springs.

The Senate has yet to schedule a confirmation vote for Brooks or Moody.