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Mississippi senators split over Biden’s nomination for U.S. Attorney

Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith
U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (left) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (right)

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is planning to block President Joe Biden’s nomination of Scott Colom for the position of U.S. District Court Judgeship in Mississippi’s Northern District.

Earlier this week, Hyde-Smith released a statement addressing her intentions to not return the blue slip on Colom’s nomination, stating that she has several concerns regarding his record.

“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,” Hyde-Smith said. “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.”

In June 2021, Colom, who currently serves as district attorney for Lowndes County, signed a letter that condemned the criminalization of transgender people and gender-affirming healthcare throughout the nation. Colom was joined by three other Mississippi sistrict attorneys, including Shameca Collins, Jody Owens, and Daniella Shorter.

Several months prior, Mississippi lawmakers had passed the “Mississippi Fairness Act,” which bars biological men from competing in women’s sports across the Magnolia State.

Hyde-Smith added that she also does not approve of Colom’s connection with George Soros, a billionaire who was found to have previously contributed to Mississippi Safety & Justice. The political action committee ran advertisements for Colom’s campaign in 2015 and also donated $716,000 to the race.

Colom has since stated that he was not aware of Soros’ connection with Mississippi Safety & Justice and claimed that he had not spoken with Soros prior to being elected into the role.

“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,” Hyde-Smith stated.

Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has expressed his approval of Colom’s nomination, stating that he intends to return the blue slip to the White House.

At this time, Mississippi is currently in the process of filling the positions for a U.S. District Attorney in both the Northern and Southern Districts.

President Biden nominated Todd Gee for the role of U.S. Attorney for Mississippi’s Southern District in September 2022. Gee, who has served as deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice since 2018, received the support of both Wicker and Hyde-Smith and awaits confirmation.

Biden nominates U.S. Attorney, two U.S. Marshals for Mississippi

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