Senate Approved Smoak

Panama City attorney Richard Smoak is about to become a federal judge.

The U.S. Senate approved Smoak’s nomination this week. President Bush had appointed Smoak to the federal bench in June.

This week’s U.S. Senate approval was all that was needed to become a federal judge for the northern district of Florida.

He will replace Judge Roger Vinson, who is retiring.

Smoak’s appointment becomes official when President Bush signs the executive order, which should happen in the next few weeks.