That time has come, with a caveat.
Melancon took senior status in February, meaning he is now a part-time federal judge, drawing full pay and essentially taking his choice of cases.
Will he retain jurisdiction over the two school files, or will they pass to his successor? The answers are unknown.
Both systems think they are close to being declared unitary, though significant changes remain to be implemented in both.
Melancon, out of the state this week, will hold status hearings in the two school matters on March 19, his staff confirmed, but what happens beyond that is up in the air.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's staff will review possible nominees and make a recommendation to the Obama administration, which in turn submits a nominee to the U.S. Senate. The process can take several months, without controversy, longer if a political fight erupts.