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VOL. 4, NO. 3 FEBRUARY 6, 2002

Demos Try to Pickle Pickering; We Must Fight Back

In one of the most blatant smear campaigns in a battle marked by dirt, the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is now mired in more mud that usual. Judge Pickering, a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi since 1990, (and the father of Congressman Charles "Chip" Pickering of Mississippi), was nominated by President Bush on May 25, 2001. He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 18 in the wake of the World Trade Center disaster, and Democrats are taking the highly unusual step of holding a second Committee hearing for Pickering, sometimes using the disaster as their excuse. This lame excuse ignores a number of facts, including the fact that second hearings are usually reserved for very controversial nominees whose answers at their initial hearing raise additional questions (not true of Pickering's first hearing). The second hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 7.

Six months ago the Judge was given a majority "well-qualified"/minority "qualified" rating by the very liberal American Bar Association. But since his first hearing, his opponents have mounted a vicious smear campaign castigating him for his record on such issues as race and abortion rights. Among his opponents are the left-wing People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights. Several of the groups called a press conference on Jan. 24 to express their opposition to Judge Pickering. One speaker identified these groups as the ones who defeated the Robert Bork nomination in 1987.

The spurious charges against Judge Pickering are well refuted by his record and the support he has among many groups, including various lawyer associations in Mississippi. We must not allow another "Borking" to occur. PLEASE ACT NOW:

Review Judge Pickering's record at http://www.judicialselection.org.

Contact your Senators and, in particular, the Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to pass Judge Pickering without further stonewalling; information on Senators can also be found at the above-listed web site.

It is especially important that we lobby the Senators from PA, MA, DE, WI, IL, WA, NY, NC, CA, and VT.


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