As a federal judge, Charles Pickering:
* criticized the “one-person, one-vote” principle recognized by the Supreme Court.
* suggested that large deviations from equality in drawing legislative district lines, which the Supreme Court has held presumptively unconstitutional, were “relatively minor” and “de minimis.”
* criticized or sought to limit important remedies provided by the Voting Rights Act.
* repeatedly inserted into his rulings, in cases involving claims of employment discrimination, severe criticisms of civil rights plaintiffs and the use of civil rights laws to address alleged discrimination.
* demonstrated a propensity to make it harder for some people to obtain access to justice, especially less powerful litigants, such as people raising civil rights or liberties claims.
* has been reversed 15 times by the 5th Circuit for ignoring or violating “well-settled principles of law” – 11 of those 15 in cases involving constitutional, civil rights, criminal procedure, or labor issues; in contrast, another Bush nominee who was confirmed to the 5th Circuit, Edith Brown Clement, was reversed only once during a slightly shorter tenure as a district court judge.
* engaged in unethical conduct in an effort to reduce the sentence for a defendant convicted for burning a cross on the lawn of an interracial family and by soliciting letters of support for his confirmation from attorneys who practiced before him.
As a state senator, Charles Pickering:
* co-sponsored a Mississippi Senate resolution calling on Congress to repeal Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (providing federal oversight over jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting) or to apply it to all states regardless of their discrimination history, widely seen as an effort to gut the Act.
* supported “open primary” legislation that was blocked by the Justice Department over concerns about discrimination against black voters....
Hundreds of organizations, individuals and elected officials have announced their opposition to Pickering’s nomination:
* African-American organizations and leaders in Mississippi, including every local chapter and the state chapter of the NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus, the Magnolia Bar Association, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Mississippi Worker’s Center for Human Rights, and more.
* National legal and civil rights organizations, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Alliance for Justice, the Human Rights Campaign, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the National Bar Association and more....
(Source: People for the American Way.)
And Bush just gave this guy a recess appointment to the federal bench.
As TBOGG says,
And just the day after his MLK photo-op in Atlanta.
So many filibustered judges -- he picks this one, in order to give maximum offense.
Bush loves this. He loves saying, "Screw you -- I'm president and you're not. Don't like it? Start your own damn country."
But he doesn't have the guts to do this when people are paying attention. The yellow-bellied little pissant sneaks this in late on a Friday afternoon.
I hope somebody asks Coretta Scott King for a comment. And I hope it plays on the news not tonight, but Monday night -- on Martin Luther King Day.