On a party-line vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee today sent to the Senate floor the nomination of Charles Pickering to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The vote came despite Pickering’s well-documented record of hostility toward civil rights, reproductive choice and access to justice and the rejection of his nomination by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year.
As the Supreme Court considers a First Amendment challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law argued in early September, a series of other important cases concerning constitutional and civil liberties will be presented to the Court during its 2003-04 term. A dozen of the more than 35 cases already scheduled for review by the Court beginning in October raise fundamental civil rights and constitutional liberties concerns.
On September 23, 2003, People For the American Way sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee stating its opposition to the confirmation of Judge Charles W. Pickering to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. As the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded last year, Pickering’s troubling record does not warrant his elevation to a lifetime position on the court of appeals.