Judge Cory Wilson of Madison was confirmed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday to fill a vacant seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Donald Trump nominated Wilson, a 49-year-old stalwart conservative and State Appeals Court judge, in April. Wilson becomes the president’s 200th federal judge appointed. His nomination cleared the chamber with a 52-48 vote.

Wilson was born in Pascagoula and graduated from Yale Law School and the University of Mississippi.

Wilson will fill the seat vacated by Judge E. Grady Jolly, who took senior status in October 2017.

Wilson has become a rising jurist since leaving his post in the Mississippi House of Representatives when former Gov. Phil Bryant appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in 2019.



In August 2019, Trump announced his intent to nominate Wilson to replace Judge Louis Guirola Jr. as the U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi. His nomination stalled twice — first on a technicality and then again after Democrats in the Senate expressed concerns over Wilson's past comments on social media about President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, among others, and his conservative stances like being against abortion.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith offered a strong endorsement of Wilson on the Senate floor Tuesday. 

“I have known Judge Wilson for many years. His experience and legal knowledge make him an excellent choice to serve on the appellate court,” Hyde-Smith told her colleagues. “I am also pleased a judge from Mississippi will mark a historic day as the 200th federal judge to be confirmed by the United States Senate during the Trump Administration.”