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.