District Judge Charles Pickering's nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was approved Thursday on a 10-9 vote of the Senate judiciary committee.
In a conference call with Mississippi reporters, Sen. Trent Lott said there is a chance to get Pickering confirmed by the full Senate.
"I believe we have a chance to get him confirmed. If the democrats don't filibuster him, obviously he would be confirmed. I believe we have 57 or 58 votes lined up now for Judge Pickering," said Lott.
"We've got five or six more that could be in place. When Judge Pickering is confirmed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals he can give most of the credit, in my opinion to his son, Chip."
Lott said Chip Pickering has been working with senators for months in order to find the necessary votes for confirmation.
However, democrats have threatened to filibuster the nomination when it gets to the senate floor. Some have criticized Pickering, claiming he has a flawed record on civil rights, among other things.
Earlier this week on a visit to Meridian, the younger Pickering said he is continuing to make a case for his father.
"His record is a good one. He has been a voice for reconciliation in our state, a voice of reason and unity. And someone who has stood for equal rights for all people, dating back when he took on the Klan. And then helped our schools as they were integrated. And then as he has been a judge to have an excellent rating by all those who have independently reviewed his record," said Cong. Pickering.
The elder Pickering was the first of President Bush's judicial nominees to fall to the democrats, who rejected his nomination in committee in 2002, when they held the balance of power in the Senate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.