US Senate confirms District Judge for Sherman - - Texoma news, weather and sports

US Senate confirms District Judge for Sherman

SHERMAN -- The Senate has confirmed a Sherman judge to become a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

"Last night I wasn't expecting anything to happen," Judge Mazzant said.

Judge Amos Mazzant says he was on the treadmill at the gym when he received a message the Senate was confirming federal judges on Capitol hill.

"Of course I got off and told my wife and family, you better turn on C-SPAN and that's how I found out," he said.

Mazzant he moved to Sherman in 1990.

He is a magistrate judge handling civil cases at the annex across the street from the Sherman federal courthouse.

He'll now fill a district judge seat left empty by his mentor, Judge Paul Brown, who retired in 2006 and died in 2012.

The courthouse was named after Brown in October.

"This is a very humbling and an extreme honor in my career. It's personally very special to me to be able to follow Judge Brown," Judge Mazzant said.

After being empty for seven years, filling the seat became a priority in 2013 when attorney Roger Sanders was asked by the Grayson Bar Association to help find a local replacement.

"There were a number of candidates from outside the county and our concern was that we keep somebody here local who had roots here and who would stay here and serve here," Sanders said.

For years, the Sherman division has split its heavy caseload with the federal courthouse in Plano.

The concern was that without a resident judge, the two courts could merge in the Metroplex.
The appointment will mean staying power for jobs and the justice system in Sherman.

Sanders says about 1,250 cases will automatically transfer to Judge Mazzant.

"That's more than double the national average and so it's a huge amount of work for Judge Mazzant," Sanders said.

"How are you going to get all that done?" reporter Meredith Yeomans asked.

"I have an amazing staff and we'll do what we have to do," Judge Mazzant said.

Sanders says the Grayson Bar Association would like to see a second district judge seated in Sherman to help with the caseload.

District judges are appointed for life.

President Obama will still have to sign off on the appointment which could happen within the next few weeks.

Judge Mazzant will be sworn in privately before beginning the job. Plans for a public ceremony have not been set.