WASHINGTON — Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice Greg Guidry is the White House's choice to fill a vacant federal judgeship in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, two sources with knowledge of the appointment process told The Advocate.
Guidry, 57, has served on the state's high court since 2009. The White House is expected to name Guidry to the seat left open by Judge Kurt Engelhardt, who was recently promoted to the New Orleans-based U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Presidential picks for positions in the federal judiciary undergo additional vetting after being tapped by the White House before being formally nominated, including an FBI background check. Judges then need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before taking their posts on the federal bench.
Guidry declined to comment Wednesday.
A Republican and Harvey native, Guidry graduated from LSU's law school with honors and spent a decade as a federal prosecutor in the New Orleans-based U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Guidry spent six years as a judge in the 24th Judicial District, which covers Jefferson Parish, before being elected to the state's 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006.
He was elected to the state Supreme Court in 2008, representing the 1st District, which includes all of St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes as well as parts of Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
Louisiana Supreme Court justices serve 10-year terms in office. Guidry is up for re-election this fall. It's unclear if Guidry might face a potential challenger to his seat; qualifying for the post is July 18-20.
Guidry's election nearly a decade ago represented part of an ideological and partisan shift on the state Supreme Court. He replaced retiring Justice Pascal Calogero, a New Orleans Democrat who had served as the court's chief justice.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, oversaw the selection process for picking Engelhardt's successor. Cassidy declined to comment last week when asked by The Advocate about Guidry's pending appointment.
A spokeswoman for Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, also declined to comment.
Guidry's nomination, if it clears the Senate, would fill the last open seat on the bench at the Eastern District of Louisiana. Two other nominees, Barry Ashe and Wendy Vitter, have been confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and are awaiting confirmation from the entire Senate.
The two seats that had been open at the federal appellate court in New Orleans were recently filled as well. Engelhardt took one of those judgeships, and the other went to Kyle Duncan, a Baton Rouge native.