Report of People For the American Way
in Opposition to the Confirmation of
Jeffrey Sutton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
The Senate Judiciary Committee was right to reject the confirmation of Judge Charles Pickering and Justice Priscilla Owen to lifetime seats on the federal appeals courts last year, said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas.
Why the Senate Judiciary Committee made the right decision when they rejected the confirmation of Priscilla Owen to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
n March 14, 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected President Bush’s nomination of Mississippi federal district court judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr., championed by Senator Trent Lott, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Committee’s decision to reject Pickering’s lifetime elevation to the powerful Court of Appeals followed an exhaustive examination of Pickering’s record, scrutiny that produced disturbing conclusions. Pickering’s record, both before and since he became a judge, demonstrates insensitivity and hostility toward key legal principles protecting the civil and constitutional rights of minorities, women, and all Americans. As a judge, Pickering in a number of instances has allowed his own beliefs to trump his responsibility to follow the law. And his decisions as a judge have been reversed on a number of occasions by conservative appellate court judges for disregarding controlling precedent on constitutional rights and for improperly denying people access to the courts.