April 27, 2004


Pickering's reputation restored (Nat Hentoff, April 26, 2004, Jewish World Review)

For two years, Federal District Court Judge Charles Pickering, a Mississippi Republican, has suffered continuous character assassination by Senate Democrats who have filibustered his nomination by President Bush to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. He is on that bench now only because of a temporary recess appointment.

The assaults on the judge have been led by Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who has accused him of "glaring racial insensitivity." And NAACP National Chairman Julian Bond proclaimed that "a vote for Pickering is a vote against civil rights."

Most damaging has been the charge — carelessly circulated nationwide by many in the media — that Pickering went to extraordinary lengths 10 years ago to lessen the sentence for one of three white men who burned a cross at the home of an interracial couple in Mississippi. But, at last, in a March 28 "60 Minutes" segment, Mike Wallace restored Pickering's reputation in a report from Mississippi showing 16 million CBS viewers the actual facts of Pickering's record — on and off the bench. [...]

Also on "60 Minutes," Mike Wallace emphasized that, "many black attorneys who practice before him say Pickering is fair and first-rate." One of them, Deborah Gambrell, a Democrat, said she has appeared before him year after year, including representing the NAACP in a case, and was "shocked and appalled" at the charges that Pickering is "insensitive on racial issues."

Pickering told Wallace that "To accuse a white southerner of being a racist is about the worst thing you can do. I have worked for more than three decades trying to provide better relations between the races, trying to protect equal rights. That's my core being. And they've attacked that."

His is one of the appointments that will be made permanent in January 2005.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2004 7:13 AM

I detest wimpy southerners. Let's get real Judges on the bench. One that doesn't go on 60 minutes asking for Mike Wallace's forgiveness. You give Blacks and Whites justice, good and hard. Arkansas has an African-American candidate for the State Supreme Court who when asked if calling a Black man a N*gg*r was offensive he said "YES, definitely". He was then asked if calling a man a red-neck, cracker, son of a b*t*h was offensive he said "of course not".

Now that is a Judge who doesn't go around apologizing needlessly.

Posted by: h-man at April 27, 2004 4:15 PM

So let me get this straight. Democrats--Senators of the United States, no less--stir up racial animus for political points?


Posted by: jsmith at April 27, 2004 10:21 PM