The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed action on U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering's appointment to a federal appeals court until sometime next week.
There was no debate Thursday on the nomination during the committee's meeting in Washington.
Pickering said Wednesday that he hoped his nomination to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans would finally be aired before the committee.
Pickering was nominated to the post by President Bush in May 2002, but his nomination and that of other Bush nominees drew heated opposition from Democrats and some black leaders.
Top Democrats in Mississippi, including Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Attorney General Mike Moore, sent a letter to the committee supporting Pickering's nomination.
Senate Democrats have said they would filibuster Pickering if his nomination makes it out of the committee to the Senate floor.