Candidates with Region 8 Ties Eliminated from Hunt for Federal Bench

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Nobody's saying yet who might be the White House choice to fill a vacant federal judgeship in Arkansas, but three of the six people recommended for the job say it won't be them.

Former U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks, a Mississippi County native, Little Rock corporate lawyer Marie-Bernarde Miller, and Jonesboro lawyer Jeanette Robertson all say they were recently called by the White House.  They said the message to each was that someone else would get the nomination.

All three said the caller from the Bush administration did not say who would be nominated to succeed the late U.S. District Judge George Howard, Jr. of Pine Bluff, who died in April.

Banks, Miller and Robertson were among six names submitted to the White House by Congressman John Bozeman, the only Republican member of the state's congressional delegation.  The other three are Little Rock lawyer Kevin Crass, Little Rock lawyer Leon Johnson and Helena-West Helena lawyer Brian S. Miller.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)