Saturday, December 1, 2007

Novak - No

Novak writes that Barbour will not appoint Charles Pickering to the Senate: "Contrary to published reports, there is zero possibility that Mississippi's Republican Gov. Haley Barbour will name 70-year-old retired federal Judge Charles Pickering to the Senate vacancy created by Sen. Trent Lott's impending resignation. Barbour feels Mississippi's tradition is for U.S. senators holding their seats for many years, not temporary seat warmers."

Friday, November 30, 2007

More Senator Pickering Talk

More talk of a scenario elevating Judge Charles Pickering to U.S. Senator, this time from John Gizzi at Human Events:

There is another twist herein: if the “snap” election is held, Wicker faces the specter of giving up his House seat, losing a Senate race, and being out of office completely. Under those circumstances, one veteran Jackson Republican told me, “Roger would not accept appointment” and, most likely, a stopgap senator would be appointed -- very likely Charles Pickering, retired federal judge and a hero among conservative Mississippians for the way in which his appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals was thwarted. (Pickering, namesake-father of a U.S. House Member from Mississippi, is a former state senator and state party chairman who lost the GOP primary for the Senate to present Sen. Thad Cochran in 1978).

At 70, the elder Pickering is unlikely to run for a full term and this would open up the race to numerous ambitious Republicans and thereby help the chances of a Democratic powerhouse like Moore.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mississippi Federalist Society

Thursday, November 29th, the Mississippi Federalist Society will honor Judge Charles Pickering and present him with their Madison Award. The guest speaker is Alfred S. Regnery, publisher of The American Spectator magazine, founder of Regnery Publishing, and author of Upstream - the Ascendance of American Conservatism. Details follow.

Why the Future of American Conservatism is Bright
Federalist Society - Mississippi Lawyers Chapter
E. Grady Jolly, Charles W. Pickering Sr., Al Regnery

Start: Thursday, November 29, 2007 12:00 PM
End: Thursday, November 29, 2007 1:15 PM

The Capital Club
125 South Congress Street
19th Floor
Jackson, Mississippi

Alfred S. Regnery, Publisher, The American Spectator magazine and Author of Upstream - the Ascendance of American Conservatism
Hon. E. Grady Jolly, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Hon. Charles W. Pickering, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Ret.) & Senior Counsel, Baker Donelson

Registration details:
To RSVP, contact Gina Barnes at 601-965- 8137 or for more information, contact Brad Prewitt at 662-401-3431. The cost is $13.00.

Senator Pickering?

While many political observers are waiting to see whether Congressman Chip Pickering will be appointed to or run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Trent Lott, at least some folks are suggesting that Governor Haley Barbour appoint his father, former 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Charles W. Pickering, Sr. It certainly would be intersting for the senior Pickering to be able to confront his former obstructors as Senate colleagues.

US News and World Report posts Bush allies are pushing for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to choose retired federal Judge Charles Pickering, rejected by Democrats for higher office, as Lott's replacement in the Senate. "It would be the biggest in-your-face move if it happened," said one proponent of the move. Pickering was nominated for a federal appeals court post in 2002 but was blocked, in part because of his antiabortion position as well as charges of racial insensitivity. He was renominated and given a recess appointment but eventually withdrew his name. Proponents of picking Pickering, 70, say it would also help to revive the issue of the role of judges and presidential preferences on the eve of the 2008 presidential race.

Monday, November 19, 2007

LTE spreads false charges

In a letter-to-the-editor in Sunday's Clarion Ledger, Briley Richmond of Ocean Springs, Mississippi defends Mike Wallace but spreads the already refuted charges against Charles Pickering.

Richmond says, "Pickering was law partner to the head of the Sovereignty Commission in 1964."

Bill Minor refuted this charge years ago in a column saying:

Those who cite federal District Judge Charles Pickering's havein practiced law in Laurel during the 1960s with then-Lt. Gov. Carroll Gartin as indiciative of pickering's segregationist past are barking up the wrong tree.

This writer knew almost all of the players on the scene back in those days of racial extremism and Gartin, who died suddenly in 1966, was far from being one of the racists.

Gartin, in fact, was defeated for governor in 1959 after being branded as a "moderate" (a term implying being soft on segregation back then) by the segregationist white Citizens Councils.

Evidently some opponents of Pickering's elevation to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals belive it damaging evidence that Gartin, Pickering's one-time law partner, had servedon the infamous state Soveregnty Commission.

For the record, Gartin as lieutenant governor (from 1956 to 1960 and again from 1964 until his suddden death in 1966) was by law designated as ex-officio vice chairman of the Sovereignty Commission, but he had little to do with the commission's operations.

When Gartin ran for governor in 1959 with the backing of progressive Gov. J.P. Coleman, he was a strong favorite to win until the then-powerful white Citizens Councils began flexing their political muscle and elected their chosen candidate, Ross Barnett....

Certainly, if Pickering's association with the late Carroll Gartin is the best "evidence" foes have against his judgeship appointment, they don't have much of a case.

Richmond next charges, "Then, in the early '70s, he used his position in the state Senate to seal the records of the Sovereignty Commission."

Richmond is just reading from anti-Pickering talking points. The vote on the Sovereginty Commission was either to seal the records and preserve them, or to destroy them. The progressive vote was to seal them; the segregationist vote was to destroy them as to hide them from history. Furthermore, Pickering had no involvement with the Commission's actions and he voted to abolish the Commission as a state Senator.

Richmond is right to defend Mike Wallace against his attackers. But he missed the point that these are the exact same people who attacked Pickering with the exact same type of allegations. And just as the lied about Wallace, they lied about Pickering.

A suggestion to Richmond, read the books.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pickering & Moore at Millsaps

Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series presents A Look Back, A Look Forward with Charles Pickering and Mike Moore, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; $10; Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex Recital Hall, Jackson, Mississippi; (601) 974-1043.

Two Mississippians, both attorneys and public servants, take a look at the November statewide elections and put forward their own interpretations of what happened and what it means. They will also look ahead to the national election cycle of 2008. Former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore (1988-2004) filed the first lawsuit against 13 tobacco companies in 1994. Judge Charles Pickering has been Prosecuting Attorney for Laurel and Jones Counties, and was elected to two terms in the Mississippi State Senate. He served as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi from 1990-2004. On January 16, 2004, Judge Pickering was given a recess appointment to the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Bush. In December of 2004, he retired from the federal bench to private practice, and is the author of 2006’s Supreme Chaos and 2007’s A Price Too High.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Southwick Vote Today

The Clarion Ledger reports: "The Senate is expected to vote today to end debate on the nomination of Mississippi Judge Leslie Southwick to the federal bench, setting the stage for a vote after weeks of delay....Because some Democrats oppose Southwick's nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a 60-vote majority will be needed to end debate on the nomination....If all 49 Republicans vote for Southwick, as expected, 11 Democratic votes would be needed to end debate on the nomination and then hold an up-or-down confirmation vote....Several conservative Democrats, including Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, have committed to voting for Southwick to sit on the court to hear cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas....Several Democrats have said they will vote to end debate on Southwick's nomination, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Mark Pryor of Arkansas....Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who usually votes with Democrats, also is expected to vote for cloture."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pickering confronts his critics

Sid Salter writes a great piece in today's Clarion Ledger on Charles Pickering and "A Price Too High."

An excerpt from Salter's piece:

In Pickering's second book, he confronts his Senate and special interest tormentors - particularly U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and the group People For the American Way. He does it merely by letting them be hoisted on the petard of their own contradictory comments in their attempts to smear a white Southerner with the false charge of racism....

In A Price Too High, Pickering recounts the behind-the-scenes political machinations on Capitol Hill - including his defense in public and private by his son, 3rd District U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Flora. But he also writes about the toll it took on his health and on his family.

One particularly powerful chapter focuses on Judge Pickering's March 28, 2004, interview on the CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes with veteran journalist Mike Wallace.

Wallace, feared by politicians and public officials for his ability to get to the truth regardless of the consequence, gave 16.74 million Americans a chance to get to know Pickering and hear what Mississippians had to say about the charges of racism lodged against him by Schumer, the People for the American Way and other critics.

One of the real stars of the 60 Minutes piece was veteran civil rights activist Charles Evers, the brother of slain NAACP field director Medgar Evers. Charles Evers staunchly defended Pickering in front of a national television audience and told of his efforts to battle the Ku Klux Klan in Jones County in the 1960s.

Evers recently read Pickering's second book.

"Unlike those who attacked him in Washington, D.C., I know Charles Pickering personally; and I know his positive record on race relations, civil rights, and equal protection for all," said Evers. "Washington liberals attempted to portray him as a racist; they sickened me. I've been in the fight. I have the wounds. I know the truth. If you are interested in promoting better race relations, you should read Charles Pickering's story."

(Read Salter's Full Piece Here)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pickering speaks on culture war at JCJC

From today's Laurel Leader Call:

The first speaker this year for the Rho Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Topic Lecture Series, Pickering spoke about his new book, A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy....Pickering, an alumnus of Jones, told students about two battles that are ongoing in the United States: A culture war that separates historical and religious traditions from modern secularism, and the proper procedure to change the constitution.

Citing passages and life experiences from his book, Pickering gave examples of his ongoing battles, beliefs and solutions to the problems the country faces.

“Judges do not have the power to change the constitution,” said Pickering. “It’s contrary to the will of the American people.”

Pickering shared his belief that an amendment to the constitution is the only way a change should be made, and he said he stayed in the fight for this belief for four years.

....Through attacks from modern secularists against his beliefs, including his Christian faith, he continued to stand by his ideals. Pickering said that faith and the encouragement of family and friends is what sustained him and his wife.

(Read the Full Story Here)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

JCJC Phi Thetha Kappa lecture series

Hattiesburg American: Jones County Junior College kicked off its Phi Theta Kappa lecture series Tuesday with a visit from Charles Pickering...spoke...about the turmoil surrounding his failed appointment to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a subject he has covered in a new book titled "A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy."

....Reading from his book, Pickering said, "In addition to religion, the ghost of Mississippi's past haunted my nomination."

He told faculty and honors students of his stance against abortion, his disdain for the federal judiciary "making laws," and his belief there are too many forces in the nation who want to depose public officials for being open about their religious beliefs.
(Read the Full Story)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gold, Gods and Glory

Charles Pickering will speak to the inaugural class of the "Charles Pickering Honors Institute" at the Jones County Junior College Fine Arts Auditorium today at 10am.

He will speak on the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society's lecture theme of "Gold, Gods and Glory: The Global Dynamics of Power." He will sign books afterward.

(Full Story Here)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pickering at Jones County Junior College

Former federal judge and Jones County native Charles Pickering is returning to his alma mater of Jones County Junior College Tuesday for a free lecture and book signing for students and the general public....Pickering received an associate’s degree from JCJC in 1957 before going on to the University of Mississippi where he received a law degree in 1961....The lecture and book signing will be held in the JCJC Fine Arts Auditorium at 10 a.m. The event is co-sponsored by JCJC’s newly created Charles Pickering Honors Institute and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. For more information call Honors Institute Director Mark Taylor at 477-4030. (Read the Full Story Here)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Pickering Signs Books in Hattiesburg

WDAM: Judge Charles Pickering's failed struggle for confirmation for a position on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is the centerpiece of a new book....A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy, is the story of Judge Pickering's 4-year odyssey through the often-contenious, Senate confirmation process....Tonight, Judge Pickering signed copies of the book at Hattiesburg's Main Street Books. "Abortion was the engine that drove the opposition," said Judge Pickering. "They were so determined to keep the right to abortion on demand, that they were willing to destroy reputations and people," Pickering said. (Read the Full Story Here)

Mississippi Federal Bench Roundup

SunHerald: Newest federal judge sworn in - Halil Suleyman "Sul" Ozerden, a young attorney from Gulfport, was sworn in Thursday [Aug 23] as the state's newest federal judge...."One of the things I had instilled in me, particularly from my father, was the importance of public service and giving back to your country," Ozerden said. "America is about seizing opportunity and making the most of it." President Bush nominated Ozerden, 40, to replace retiring Judge David C. Bramlette who is taking senior status....Ozerden's father came to America from Turkey in 1963 with a suitcase and $100. "But he also came with the American dream and when you have that you can accomplish anything," Ozerden said. The new judge still has his father's old suitcase and naturalization certificate, which he plans to hang in his new office, "as a reminder never to take for granted the special rights and privileges we have in this country." (Read the Full Story)

Baton Rouge Advocate: Senate vote urged on 5th U.S. Circuit nominee - Two prominent Republican senators on Wednesday called for Democrats to allow a vote on the judge nominated to the federal bench in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans. The Democrats should allow the nomination of Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick to come before the full chamber, said U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Specter was joined by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, former committee chairman. Southwick’s nomination has been held up by Senate Democrats....Specter is hoping to get a vote on Southwick before the end of the month, he said....U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is expected to support the nomination. A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Wednesday she has not decided which way to vote, though she had a good meeting with Southwick.
(Read the Full Story)

Tupelo Daily Journal: Aycock closes in on full approval - About 11 a.m. Thursday, as Circuit Judge Sharion Aycock faced down seven people who wanted to make guilty pleas in the second-floor courtroom of the Lee County Justice Center, she received a note from a clerk....The note told her the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee had approved her in committee and to the full Senate for confirmation as a federal judge...for the U.S. District court seat vacated by Judge Glen H. Davidson....A Senate aide present at the business meeting in Washington said the vote was unanimous. The next step is for the full Senate to vote on the nomination. It's uncertain when that will happen. (Read the Full Article)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Race Card

WDAM (NBC: Laurel/Hattiesburg) interviews Charles Pickering prior to a couple of book signings. They ask him about critics who played the race card and this clip has his response.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Filibuster Southwick?

There is talk of a filibuster of Leslie Southwick's nomination to the Pickering seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ana Radelat writes in today's Jackson Clarion Ledger: Southwick's nomination to the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been bitterly opposed by many Democrats who've criticized the judge's record on civil rights based on decisions he made while serving on the Mississippi Court of Appeals. But opposition to Southwick has not reached the level it had for previous nominees for that seat whom the Democrats were able to block from Senate confirmation - Mississippi Judge Charles Pickering and Jackson lawyer Mike Wallace. Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, said she hoped a Democratic senator would filibuster the nomination, or hold it up by extended debate...."We are not ruling out any technique ... including the filibuster," Aron said. (Read the full story here)

Judge Pickering discusses in depth the filibuster (its history, tradition, rules, motivations) in both his books. Chapter 10 of Supreme Chaos is titled "Filibuster: The Historic and Constitutional Case for Confirmation by Majority Vote" and Chapter 18 of A Price Too High is titled "End the Filibuster: The Constitutional Option."

Pickering notes in A Price Too High that early warnings of a filibuster were ignored during his and other early Bush nominees' confirmation fights: "Republicans did not take the warning of a filibuster seriously. The Democrats didn’t filibuster Robert Bork, and they didn’t filibuster Clarence Thomas. In fact, neither party had ever employed the filibuster to deny confirmation to a nominee enjoying majority support. Blocking nominees in committee was bad enough, but blocking judicial nominees by filibuster would be unprecedented. The Democrats had just taken a licking at the ballot box in part due to their obstruction of judicial nominees. Election losses historically are effective teaching techniques utilized by voters. Those of us who doubted the Democrats would follow through on the threatened filibuster did not comprehend the control that the Far Left—out of the mainstream—special-interest groups held over the Democrats in the Senate." (page 120)

He later notes that the filibuster is purely a political tool because controversial and important nominations have always been dealt with previously: "It is not necessary to filibuster judges who are truly out of the mainstream. History shows us the Senate can discuss, vet, and even defeat contentious Supreme Court nominees without the need of a filibuster. In fact, the Senate has defeated twelve Supreme Court nominees by majority vote without filibuster. Certainly if we can resolve the Supreme Court nominations without filibusters, we can do the same for appellate nominees." (page 250)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Items

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the exoneration of decorated Korean War veteran Clyde Kennard who tried to integrate the University of Southern Mississippi. Charles Pickering had presented the petition of exoneration.

Author and activist Richard Viguerie has suggested ten names to replace Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General, including Ed Meese, William Pryor, Edith Jones and Charles Pickering.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Judge Charles Pickering will sign copies of his book “A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy” from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Main Street Books, 210 N. Main St. in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Friday, July 6, 2007


This Sunday and Monday, BookTV on C-SPAN2 will discuss "A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy."

Sunday, July 8, at 9am
Monday, July 9, at 12am

More details here.


Still being delayed, here is the latest.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Southwick Update

Sid Salter at Mississippi's Clarion Ledger blogs, "Don't take my word for the partisan character assassination aimed at Mississippi Judge Leslie Southwick. Read what a national group has to say on the subject" and posts a press release from the Campaign for Justice with the headline: "Southern White Male Nominees Face Bias in Senate - Dems’ campaign against Judge Southwick repeats same old charges".

Meanwhile, the Legal Times Blog writes: Conservatives Counterattack For Southwick

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer Reading

The Committee for Justice blogs that some liberals may be "engrossed in Al Gore's new book" but "those of you who are more interested in constitutional law and the judicial nominations" should check out three books: A Price Too High by Charles Pickering; Confirmation Wars by Benjamin Wittes; and The Manhandling of the Constitution by Jim Dueholm.

FotF on Southwick

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family, writes about the Southwick situation. Here is an excerpt:

These charges are even more profoundly false and transparent than usual, because they are based on a couple opinions that Southwick didn't even write. And both decisions were correct as a matter of law and appellate practice, but that didn’t' matter to the attack dogs who are seeking to derail the third straight Mississippi nominee for this 5th Circuit seat.

That's right – both Charles Pickering and Michael Wallace were previously nominated by this president for this same seat, then tarred and feathered by the Left with similarly ridiculous treatment as Southwick is receiving now. Apparently liberals look upon white male nominees from Mississippi as whack-a-moles – when one pops up, bam!

Read the full story here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Southwick delayed

The Clarion Ledger reports Southwick was delayed again, in hopes that the Demcrats will agree to vote him out of committee with at least a neutral recommendation or even a negative recommendation: either of which still gives the full Senate the opportunity to vote.

The CQ Today report says in part:

Last week, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., suggested that Bush withdraw Southwick’s nomination and instead nominate an African-American candidate and name Southwick to a district court seat....The senator said White House counsel Fred F. Fielding told him June 13 that Bush will not follow Leahy’s advice.

According to both Leahy and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the panel, a majority of the committee is against Southwick’s nomination for the 5th Circuit....Specter also has suggested that the panel send the nomination to the floor, even with an unfavorable recommendation, rather than reject it outright. Leahy said that won’t happen.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., and another CBC member, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, appeared in the committee room to buttonhole Democrats before the meeting Thursday. They sat in the audience until Leahy postponed the planned vote.

....Bush has been trying to fill the same 5th Circuit seat since 2001, when he nominated Charles W. Pickering Sr. The next year, a Democratic-controlled Judiciary Committee rejected Pickering’s nomination.

Democrats filibustered Pickering in the 108th Congress. In early 2004, Bush gave Pickering a recess appointment, which lasted until the end of that Congress.

In the 109th Congress, Bush tapped Michael Wallace for the seat. The American Bar Association rated Wallace “not qualified” for the position, and the Senate did not vote on his nomination.

After Bush nominated Southwick to a Mississippi district court seat, he became part of a package of district court picks readied for floor action near the end of the 109th Congress. But the Senate did not vote on the package after Sam Brownback, R-Kan., blocked another nominee in the group, Janet T. Neff, whom Bush had nominated to a Michigan district court. Bush renominated Neff this year, and the Judiciary Committee approved her nomination last month.

Thad Cochran, R-Miss., strongly supports Southwick. “He’s one of the finest lawyers in the state of Mississippi, and it’s pure partisan politics at its worst,” Cochran said.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Southwick vote today

After a couple of delays, Southwick's nomination to the Fifth Circuit comes up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Mississippi's largest newspaper, the Clarion Ledger, is for him in this editorial.

UPDATE: Southwick vote postponed again. LegalTimesBlog says: Conceding that he didn’t have the votes to pass Southwick out of the committee, Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) asked for Southwick to be held over again until next week. Of the move to wait another week Specter said, “I would like another week, perhaps to waste my time” to find enough votes to pass Southwick to the full Senate floor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pickering and Southwick

Great post and analysis at on the truth against PFAW and the other liberals' attacks on judges like Pickering and Southwick.

Monday, June 11, 2007

City Journal

Harry Stein writes a great piece in City Journal about "A Price Too High" and Judge Pickering's confirmation fight: "Charles Pickering Gets the Last Word: A maligned civil rights hero, the changing South, and the future of the courts"

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Judicial Speech Code

The Wall Street Journal responds to the Southwick attacks, here are some excerpts:

Move over, Roe v. Wade. The latest liberal judicial litmus test is whether the nominee is willing to repudiate the phrase "homosexual lifestyle." Believe it or not, that's one of the two raps against Leslie Southwick, whose nomination for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

After more than five months of Democratic control, Ralph Neas, Nan Aron and other liberal activists are so desperate to prove their relevance that they will grasp at any allegation to put another trophy kill over their mantel. What happens to Judge Southwick's nomination may well preview the fate of other appeals-court nominees in the rest of President Bush's term.

....liberal critics, having scoured his 7,000-plus rulings on the Mississippi appeals bench, uncovered two allegedly hanging offenses. Both were about words that the judge himself never uttered but were contained in decisions he joined--one involving homosexuals, the other race....

The flimsy pretext for stopping Judge Southwick suggests that the judicial left has decided to browbeat Democrats into blocking nearly all Bush appellate nominees. They're hoping to retake the White House in 2008 and want everyone to forget that the current President still has 19 months in office. Only three Bush appointees have been approved this year, and there are currently five nominees for 13 vacancies. At this pace, the confirmation rate won't come close to the 15 appeals-court nominees approved by a GOP Senate during Bill Clinton's last two years.

Judiciary Democrats aren't saying how they'll vote today, but Republicans believe they have the votes to confirm if Judge Southwick's nomination gets to the Senate floor. If the judge loses--or if he's approved in committee and then denied an up-or-down vote on the floor--you'll know Ralph Neas is running the confirmation asylum.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Long Knives out for Southwick

The left-wing special interest groups have turned up their attacks on Southwick. Excerpts from the piece in today's Clarion Ledger:

"We are looking to the committee to do the right thing," said Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, one of the groups opposed to Southwick's nomination. She also said the committee's acceptance of what she called the first controversial nomination of the new Congress "would set a very dark precedent."

Only one senator has disclosed his opposition to Southwick. On Thursday, Ben LaBolt, press secretary to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said the senator - a White House candidate - would oppose the nomination if approved by the Judiciary Committee and sent to the Senate floor.

"Senator Obama shares the concerns of his fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus that Judge Southwick would not adequately defend the rights of workers and enforce civil rights laws, and he opposes his lifetime appointment to the federal appeals court," LaBolt said. "Given the rocky history of appointments to this important seat on the court, Senator Obama believes the president should nominate a consensus candidate who will fairly interpret and uphold the laws of the nation."

Southwick's candidacy is opposed by some of the same groups who helped foster opposition to previous nominees for the seat - retired Judge Charles Pickering and Jackson lawyer Michael Wallace.

Left wing groups in Texas also hit him at press conference.

And from the left's press, The Nation opines: Southwick offers a truly lamentable record of rulings on civil and equal rights and a history that staunchly favors special interests over individual rights and liberties...Southwick has gone out of his way to express troubling views on workers' rights, has joined strikingly homophobic decisions and has voted consistently against consumers and workers in divided torts and employment decisions...The Congressional Black Caucus, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, People for the American Way, Human Rights Campaign, National Employment Lawyers Association, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, Mississippi NAACP and the Magnolia Bar are all calling for his defeat...This is a fight that can be won.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Salter on PFAW

Sid Salter blogs on "People for the American Way" and their slander of Southwick (and Pickering and Wallace before him):

If there exists an organization in this country that flies under more false colors than People for The American Way, I haven't seen it....This group seems to exist for the sole purpose of assaulting the character of any judge who happens to disagree with their views on abortion. As we've seen in the case of Mississippians Charles Pickering, Mike Wallace, and now Leslie Southwick, People for the American Way will stop at nothing to muddy and sully any judicial nominee with whom they disagree. Since these are Mississippians and Republicans to boot, the quick and dirty method is to accuse them of racism....Today, PFAW are trying to scuttle Southwick's nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as they have those of Pickering and Wallace. The attacks on Southwick are so baseless and ignore the reality of Southwick's life in Mississippi. People for the American Way and Ralph Neas, their leader, have totally misrepresented the lives of these three men simply to further PFAW's own pro-choice agenda. That's fine if that what they want to do, but let's not call anything about these sleazy smear campaigns "the American way." It's the "American way" only if you live in the late Sen. Joe McCarthy's America.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

People for the American Way on Southwick

In this article accusing Southwick of Homophobia and maybe racism, Ralph Neas, President of People for the American Way says, "First Pickering, then Wallace, and now Southwick – Bush has completely struck out on the Fifth Circuit....Just like Pickering and Wallace before him, Southwick appears ready and willing to turn back the clock on fifty years of social justice progress in our nation."

In Pickering's upcoming book he writes about the records of other Bush nominees Miguel Estrada, Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and William Pryor saying, “They are and were all excellent jurists who were treated unfairly. The slander and attack and lies they faced are a price too high for public service; but they endured and they prevailed." Pickering additionally said of Estrada, “He was treated more unfairly than I or any of the other Bush nominees. His confirmation would have been an inspiration and a challenge to immigrants and minorities across our land, and he would have served with distinction in the federal judiciary. Any sensitive and thinking American should be offended by what Far Left special–interest groups did to Miguel Estrada. The price of public service should not be so high.”

People for the American Way are now trying to extract that same high price from Leslie Southwick.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Southwick, Wallace, Pickering

The Jackson Clarion Ledger writes in an editorial today, "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's postponing a scheduled vote last week on the nomination of Leslie Southwick to a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was not unexpected, given the past politics and posturing by Senate Democrats on the nominations of Charles Pickering and Michael Wallace. But, it's still extremely frustrating....It's clear that no Republican nominee submitted from Mississippi by President Bush will be satisfactory to Senate Democrats and the special interests to whom Democrats are beholden. To be sure, Republicans have engaged in similar tactics in the past against Clinton-era judicial nominees and GOP nominees are now paying the price. But in the process of this futile exercise in politics and posturing, the characters of three good and decent Mississippians have been unjustly assaulted. Southwick, Wallace and Pickering are guilty of one charge - they are guilty of being Republicans with right-of-center views on abortion. But they've been branded by special interests as racists and worse during the confirmation process - a charge that is easy to make against a Mississippian and one that is of a nuclear political nature. In the cases of Southwick and Pickering in particular, the charge of racism is at such odds with their public and personal conduct in Mississippi as to be ridiculous....(Read the full editorial here)

"The Clinton Administration" blogs on this today as well.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Democrats Delay Southwick

In early 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Judge Charles Pickering to fill a seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Except for the one year that Pickering served on that court with a recess appointment, this vacancy (termed a judicial emergency) has persisted until today. The Democrats delayed, obstructed, blocked and filibustered Pickering. Then the Democrats delayed, obstructed and blocked Mike Wallace who eventually withdrew. Now the Democrats are delaying and obstructing Leslie Southwick. Full story in today's Clarion Ledger.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Buy it at is selling "A Price Too High" for $22.41 - you can pre-order it today.

Pre-order "A Price Too High"

Stroud & Hall is taking pre-orders for "A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy."

Here is a preview of the table of contents:

Chapter 1 - Nominated: 2001
Chapter 2 - Choosing Sides: 1960s
Chapter 3 - Abortion: The Engine of Opposition
Chapter 4 - The Attack
Chapter 5 - A Burning Cross
Chapter 6 - As Promised: A “Nasty and Contentious” Hearing
Chapter 7 - Looking for One Vote
Chapter 8 - Confirmation Limbo: Bottled Up in Committee
Chapter 9 - Election of 2002
Chapter 10 - Re-nominated
Chapter 11 - Filibustered
Chapter 12 - Recess Appointment
Chapter 13 - “60 Minutes”
Chapter 14 - Serving on the Fifth Circuit
Chapter 15 - Consequences
Chapter 16 - A Problem that Cries Out for Solution
Chapter 17 - Restoring Civility, Respecting One Another
Chapter 18 - End the Filibuster: The Constitutional Option
Chapter 19 - Procedure for Confirmation
Chapter 20 - Protect the Amendment Process

Here are some advance comments on the book:

"My friend Judge Charles Pickering, a much respected jurist, was in a very real sense martyred for his faith. Senators shockingly refused his confirmation largely because of his expressed Christian views." - CHARLES W. COLSON: Founder, Prison Fellowship

"Charles Pickering Sr. has written an extraordinary book, a healing book at a time when that is what we all need. Senator Chuck Schumer should pay special attention to Chapter Thirteen." - MIKE WALLACE: 60 Minutes

"Having known Charles Pickering for more than thirty years, I watched with frustration and anger as far left groups and liberal senators falsely smeared him and insulted Mississippi. But what he and other conservative judicial nominees endured actually hurt Democrats at the polls and helped assure confirmation of John Roberts and Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. In A Price Too High Judge Pickering shares an intriguing story that every Mississippian and everyone interested in good government should read." - HALEY BARBOUR: Governor of Mississippi and former chairman, Republican National Committee

"Charles Pickering’s four-year confirmation fight gave him a unique perspective of how liberal politicalization of the judiciary seriously threatens the third branch of government. The recommendations in A Price Too High are both reasonable and provocative and will make a positive contribution toward solving a problem that gravely endangers the Judiciary and undermines comity and collegiality in the Senate. This is a must-read for all who are serious about fidelity to the Constitution." - DAVID LIMBAUGH: Attorney and author of Persecution

"Let’s see if I have this right: White northern liberals, who knew absolutely nothing about the real Charles Pickering, maligned him as a bigot who was soft on cross-burners. But African-American civil rights workers in Mississippi know Judge Pickering as a man of great moral courage who took on the KKK back when it was dangerous and who to this day stands for decency and fair play. This tells you a lot about Pickering – but even more about his enemies. For some, public service is a price too high, but not for Charles Pickering." - BERNARD GOLDBERG: Journalist and author of Bias

"Unlike those who attacked him in Washington, D.C., I know Charles Pickering personally; and I know his positive record on race relations, civil rights, and equal protection for all. A Price Too High tells a captivating and compelling story of a young man who came of age in the segregated South, and at the age of 26, fought the Ku Klux Klan when they were strongest. Washington liberals attempted to portray him as a racist; they sickened me. I’ve been in the fight. I have the wounds. I know the truth. If you are interested in promoting better race relations, you should read Charles Pickering’s story." - CHARLES EVERS: Civil rights leader, Brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, And former mayor of Fayette, Mississippi

You can read a few excerpts of the book here - but Pickering reveals some interesting behind the scenes information you should read in the book, if it isn't mentioned in news reports first.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Price Too High

This blog will have book reviews, news, details, and resources concerning "A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy" by Judge Charles Pickering. This book, expected in stores mid-year 2007, is a provocative follow up to the 2006 book by Pickering, "Supreme Chaos: The Politics of Judicial Confirmation & the Culture War." For a blog on Supreme Chaos go here.