Magnolia Tribune

Senator Hyde-Smith won’t “blue slip” Colom’s judicial nomination

The District Attorney had been nominated by President Biden for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

By Frank Corder

In October 2022, District Attorney Scott Colom was nominated for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi by President Joe Biden (D). Colom has served as the District Attorney for the 16th Judicial District of Mississippi since 2016 representing Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha counties.

Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS02) recommended Colom for the post in a letter to President Biden in late 2021.

Colom’s nomination has been stalled in the U.S. Senate as both Mississippi Senators have not returned their “blue slip” on Colom, allowing his confirmation to move forward.

The “blue slip” process is basically a sign-off Senators have on district court nominees in their home states. Return the slip and the process moves forward. Choose not to return it and it’s essentially a veto of the nominee by the Senator.

According to Newsmax and Roll Call, Senator Roger Wicker (R) returned his blue slip for Colom earlier this month while Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) had not, further stalling the process. Now, Senate Hyde-Smith has chosen not to return her blue slip on Colom.

“I will not return the blue slip on the nomination of Scott Colom to serve as a U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Mississippi.  I visited with the District Attorney recently, and I recognize that he is smart and well liked in his district.  However, there are a number of concerns I have regarding his record,” Senator Hyde-Smith said in a statement obtained by Magnolia Tribune on Tuesday. “As someone with a strong interest in protecting the rights of girls and women, I am concerned about Scott Colom’s opposition to legislation to protect female athletes.  The significant support his campaign received from George Soros also weighs heavily against his nomination in my view.  I simply cannot support his nomination to serve on the federal bench in Mississippi for a lifetime.”

Senator Hyde-Smith’s reference to Colom’s support from Soros stems from a campaign donation during his 2015 race. In that election, Colom ousted a nearly 30-year incumbent to win the District Attorney seat. His opponent in that race, Forrest Allgood, pointed to campaign donations made by the billionaire as a reason for Colom’s win.

The Clarion Ledger reported on the donation by Soros, stating:

Soros, a New York financier and longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, gave almost $400,000 to a new Mississippi political action committee, and the money went to support Colom’s campaign as well as the re-election campaign of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.

Colom went on to run unopposed in his 2019 re-election bid.

With Hyde-Smith’s objection, it is unclear at this time as to how the Senate Judiciary Committee will proceed regarding Colom’s nomination.