WASHINGTON — Pulaski County Circuit Judge James “Jay” Moody Jr., breezed through a confirmation hearing Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering his nomination to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and John Boozman, R-Ark., testified before the panel on his behalf, saying they expect him to do an outstanding job if confirmed.
“We all know that it takes a qualified individual to do this job. They must have the proper judicial temperament and the ability to be fair and impartial. I’m here today to tell you — Jay meets and exceeds all of those criteria,” Pryor said.
“He has extensive experience and an impressive background,” said Boozman.
President Obama nominated Moody to the federal bench in July. He is now serving a second term as a circuit judge in Arkansas’ Sixth Judicial circuit. He was first elected to the state bench in 2003.
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.
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 is confirmed.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who chaired Wednesday’s hearing, said that Moody and two other nominees for federal judgeships in California and Tennessee were all well qualified to serve.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he planned to support each of them. He was particularly impressed by the accolades Moody received from Pryor and Boozman.
Moody and the other two nominees also spoke at the hearing and answered a few perfunctory questions about the role of a federal judge. The nominees also introduced family and friends attending the hearing.
Moody’s parents were there, as well as his fiancé, Melinda Carelock, and her parents.