john ashcroft

Updated Thursday, July 17 to include a statement from Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka).

Seventeen years after his first nomination, former Missouri Supreme Court Justice Ronnie White has been approved for a federal judgeship in the Eastern District of Missouri.

The U.S. Senate voted 53-44 to confirm his appointment Wednesday.

It was a long journey that began in 1997 when President Bill Clinton nominated White for a seat on the Eastern District Court of Missouri. At the time he was the first African-American judge on the Missouri Supreme Court.

While Jay Ashcroft, the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, was always interested in politics, he also said he didn’t consider it “the highest calling.”

“My highest calling in life is to be a good husband to my wife and to be a good father for my kids," said the attorney and engineer from unincorporated St. Louis County. “In the last couple of years when I’ve seen how government has been working at the state level and unfortunately not always working, I kept coming around to the conclusion that I need to be part of the solution.”

Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court.

White's nomination Thursday by President Barack Obama marks a third chance for him to become a federal judge.

White was twice nominated by President Bill Clinton for a federal judgeship in the 1990s. But the Senate rejected White's nomination after it was opposed by then-U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri.

White later testified against the nomination of Ashcroft to become U.S. attorney general.