Fuller: Judicial appointment my dream
District Attorney Mark Fuller is realizing a lifelong dream with his appointment to the federal bench.
"It’s something I’ve always wanted to do," Fuller said. "I am very honored by the opportunity to get involved in this level of work."
Fuller was named to the Middle District bench by President Bush last week. To him, the call was one of the most exciting experiences of his career.
"I was notified Thursday (Aug. 1) night by the White House that the appointment had been forwarded to the Senate," Fuller said. "It was a good call to get."
Bush’s judicial nominations have not been met with open arms by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Two of his nominees have felt the ire of several special interest groups. The most notable battle was over federal Judge Charles W. Pickering of Mississippi. His nomination was never allowed to move from committee to a floor vote.
But Fuller is looking for an easier confirmation hearing.
"I hope it goes smoothly," he said. "I don’t know of anything that would hold my nomination up."
Fuller said Bush Administration officials have not talked with him much about the confirmation process at this point. With the Senate in recess, no confirmation date has been set.
If the confirmation process was left up to the law enforcement officials he has worked with in Pike County, Fuller would have nothing but smooth sailing.
The district attorney in Alabama’s 12th Judicial Circuit since 1997, Fuller is praised by for his dedication to the job and his good relationship with other agencies.
"It’s been truly a pleasure to serve with the DA. He’s done an outstanding job as district attorney. I’m sure that he’ll do a good job as a federal judge," Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said.
Thomas said the best part of working with Fuller has been the district attorney’s accessibility.
"He’s always available if you need to talk with him, always there to answer questions during investigations," Thomas said. "I can call him at night, at home, on the weekends, early in the morning. It doesn’t matter. He’s always willing to work with us."
Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage has given Fuller a sounding endorsement as well.
"I’ve enjoyed working with him as the district attorney, and I’m sure if he is confirmed he will do a great job," Everage said last week at the news of Fuller’s appointment.
Everage called Fuller "an honest and straightforward person."
Thomas said those qualities will be an asset on the bench.
"He has a good understanding of the law, and I think he will be fair and just when interpreting and applying the law in court," the sheriff said.
Fuller, 43, is a native of Enterprise. He earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Alabama.
From 1986 to 1996, when he was named chief assistant district attorney for the 12th Circuit, Fuller worked for the law firm of Cassady, Fuller and Marsh.
Fuller is replacing Judge Ira Dement, who is stepping down to a part-time position.
He said he owes much appreciation to Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., for his nomination. Fuller also thanked President Bush.
"This is an honor. I’m very appreciative the president saw fit to appoint me," he said.