Senate confirms White as federal judge in Missouri
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former Missouri Supreme Court judge from St. Louis whose two previous nominations to federal judgeships were blocked in Washington has been confirmed by the Senate to a U.S. District Court seat.
The Senate voted 53-44 Wednesday to confirm Ronnie White's nomination by President Obama. He was previously nominated to the post by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and 1999.
The 61-year-old, White was the first black judge on the state Supreme Court, serving in Jefferson City from 1995 to 2007. That stint included two years as chief justice. He's currently a lawyer in private practice in St. Louis.
Former Republican Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri helped derail White's second nomination. Ashcroft said the Democratic judge was "pro-criminal" and soft on the death penalty and drug law enforcement.