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A Mississippi attorney asked President Bush to withdraw his nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying he doesn’t believe the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee considers him a consensus nominee. Jackson attorney Michael Wallace, 54, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he made the request in a letter sent late last week. The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit hears cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Wallace wrote that he believes a majority of the Senate would consent to his nomination. However, he said that incoming Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., “made it clear two weeks ago that he intends to permit vacancies to be filled only with ‘consensus nominees’” and that Leahy has indicated he doesn’t consider Wallace to be such a nominee. In February, Bush nominated Wallace to fill the 5th Circuit seat vacated by Judge Charles Pickering Sr., who left the court more than a year ago. In November, Wallace’s name was among six judicial nominations Bush resubmitted to the Senate. Wallace drew opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and the American Bar Association. He said various special interests and their supporters on the committee had made up their minds before he was allowed to testify or respond to any criticism. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., for whom Wallace once worked, said in a statement Tuesday that he was disappointed that “petty partisanship” would keep Wallace off the court.

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