The federal courthouse in Jackson Credit: U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola will take senior status next spring, meaning President Donald Trump could appoint his first federal judge in Mississippi.

Guirola, a 65-year-old judge based in Gulfport, wrote a letter to Trump on May 1, informing the president of his intention to take senior status beginning March 23, 2018.

Senior status gives longtime federal judges a reduced caseload with the full salary of an active judge. Judges may take senior status if they are 65 years old and have served at least 15 years.

“Judge Guirola continues in service as a senior judge,” said Arthur Johnston, clerk of court for the federal court in the Southern District of Mississippi. “It’s a great benefit to the court because senior judges still carry a substantial workload, and that helps with caseload for other judges.”

Trump has appointed 40 district court judges across the country. To date, just four of them have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

In October, the Senate confirmed Madison attorney Mike Hurst as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Mississippi. Trump had nominated Hurst in June. Trump, also in June, nominated Oxford attorney Chad Lamar for U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Mississippi. Lamar still awaits Senate confirmation.

Guirola, who was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003, will be the Southern District’s fifth senior judge. He served as chief judge for the district between 2010 and 2017.

Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for AL.com, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.