The Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation has recommended six people to President Barack Obama to fill two U.S. District Court vacancies in Texas. The most interesting list is made up of the three candidates vying to fill the spot of U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield of Beaumont in the Eastern District of Texas, who has taken senior status. All of them do business in the Marshall Division. The candidates for that post include: Eric M. Albritton of Longview’s Albritton Law Firm; U.S. Magistrate Judge Chad Everingham, who sits in the Marshall Division; and J. Rodney Gilstrap, a partner in Marshall’s Smith & Gilstrap. One would assume all of them also could be contenders to replace U.S. District Judge T. John Ward of Marshall, who says he plans to take senior status next year — but he has not yet notified the White House of his decision. The Democrats looked hard at the occupants of state benches in their quest to replace U.S. District Judge Hayden Head of Corpus Christi in the Southern District of Texas, who has taken senior status. The list of candidates include: Nanette Hassette, judge of the 28th District Court in Corpus Christi; Dori Contreras Garza, a justice on Corpus Christi’s 13th Court of Appeals; and Nelva Gonzales Ramos, judge of the 347th District Court in Corpus Christi.
--- John Council