Newly appointed Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Charles Pickering will hear his first cases this week in New Orleans.
President Bush made a recess appointment after he was denied a vote by the full Senate for over two years sue to Democratic opposition and a filibuster.
The recess appointment means Pickering will be in office until at least January 2005, when the next Congress takes office.
Pickering, who was based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, while serving as a federal district judge, received his first case assignments soon after the President acted.
The Fifth Circuit handles appeals from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Pickering will hold his first hearings Thursday. He said he will not move to New Orleans since he has only four days of court hearings a month and one or two days a month for other court business. Pickering lives in Hebron, a small community near Laurel.