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Judge nominee gets reprieve as Senate panel delays vote

A federal judicial nominee accused of being lenient toward criminals will have another chance to defend her record after the Senate postponed a confirmation vote.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee need-ed more time to sort out the facts. But Lott said he believed the "very serious allegations" against Philadelphia Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson are true, and he urged President Clinton to withdraw the nomination.The committee plans to hold another hearing on Massiah-Jackson, who would be the first black woman to sit on the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo., her leading critic, promised to "renew my strong opposition" if the Senate takes up the nomination again.