- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and three other lawyers for federal district court judgeships.

Trump picked Norris, a Collierville Republican, for judge in western Tennessee.

U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to work quickly on the two nominees in middle Tennessee, William L. “Chip” Campbell, Jr. and Eli J. Richardson, because there are only two full-time district court judges there. The appointments require Senate confirmation.

Judges from across Tennessee and other states are sharing the caseload in the Nashville-anchored middle district until the vacancies are filled.

Norris was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and has been majority leader since 2007. He works in the Memphis office of Adams and Reese LLP. Norris had also flirted with a run for governor next year.

Norris said he’s honored by the nomination and appreciates the president’s confidence in him. Senate Speaker Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican, said his colleague will be greatly missed.

“He is a wise counselor and a treasured friend,” McNally said in a statement. “While the judiciary will gain a sterling legal mind with thoroughly sound judgment, the Senate Republican Caucus will lose our fearless Leader.”

Trump also nominated Thomas Lee Robinson Parker in western Tennessee. He is a shareholder in the Memphis office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C. He previously served for nine years as an assistant federal prosecutor in western Tennessee.

Campbell is a member in the Nashville office of Frost Brown Todd LLC. He also served seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps, primarily as a flight officer.

Richardson is a member in the Nashville office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC. He previously spent 12 years with the Department of Justice, including four years as a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent; seven years as an assistant federal prosecutor in New Jersey and middle Tennessee; and one year as resident legal adviser to Serbia.

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