Video: Pair of Baton Rouge-area judges make cases against suspensions to state Supreme Court _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice Greg G. Guidry speaks during the disciplinary hearing for Judge James Best and Judge J. Robin Free, of the 18th Judicial District Court, in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Greg Guidry is one step closer to filling a New Orleans-area federal court vacancy, after a U.S. Senate panel advanced his nomination with little discussion on Thursday.

Guidry, who was re-elected in August to a second 10-year term on the state’s high court, was formally nominated in January by President Donald Trump to take the last remaining open seat on the bench at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-10 Thursday, along party lines, to advance Guidry, 58, to the full Senate for consideration.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, praised the move. "Justice Guidry is exceptionally qualified and has served our state well for decades," he said on Twitter. "I look forward to seeing him confirmed soon."

Guidry would have to give up his state judgeship, if confirmed, triggering a special election for the state court’s 1st District seat, which includes all of St. Tammany, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes and parts of Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

A Republican, Guidry is a native of Harvey and graduate of the LSU Law Center. He previously worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Orleans for a decade, then spent six years on the bench in Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District. He took a seat on Louisiana’s 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in 2006.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.