ronnie white

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.

Updated 12:22 p.m., Thurs., June 19: On June 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Ronnie White's nomination to the U.S. Senate floor. The committee's 10-7 affirmative vote makes it highly likely that White's nomination to the federal bench will be approved.

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.