Skip to comments.Blasting Conservative Judges: Liberals Launch Their Campaign
Posted on 01/25/2002 9:58:09 PM PST by classygreeneyedblonde
Washington (CNSNews.com) - Liberal groups, declaring war on President Bush's judicial nominees, took their case to the media Thursday. Their primary target was Charles W. Pickering, President Bush's choice to sit on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but a man liberals say is guilty of pursuing "a far-right conservative agenda." "
Achieving ideological domination of the federal judiciary is the top goal of right-wing activists inside and outside the Bush Administration, and judges like Charles Pickering are the means to that end," Ralph G. Neas, president of People For the American Way, said.
"Many of our basic rights and freedoms are at risk. The Senate Judiciary Committee should review Judge Pickering's record and reject his elevation to the appeals court," Neas added.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer immediately fired back Thursday. "The president deserves to have his team in place, particularly during a time of war," Fleischer said, "and the American people deserve to have a government fully staffed."
The conservative Pickering, from Mississippi, is described as a friend and political ally of Sen. Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
There are as many as 100 vacancies on the federal court, and as of yesterday, Bush had nominated 90 people to fill them. It's up to the Senate to confirm or reject the nominations.
Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said Pickering's appointment would be a devastating blow to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals because it has "the largest percentage of people of color of any circuit court in the country."
"After our careful review of Judge Pickering's record - on and off the bench - we are forced to conclude that he is the wrong man for the Fifth Circuit. This circuit requires a jurist who will have a moderating influence on the court," Henderson said. "We urge the Senate to consider all of these circumstances and to exercise its constitutional prerogative to reject this nominee. And we implore President Bush to nominate a moderate for this critical position."
The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) also insists Pickering is a poor choice for the court. According to NARAL President Kate Michelman, "Pickering's nomination by President Bush is part of a continuing effort to hasten the reversal of Roe and the end of legal abortion."
This week, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups marked the 29th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Michelman described Pickering as a partisan political activist. "Pickering has been at the front line on some of the most divisive political issues of our time, and repeatedly has pursued a far-right conservative agenda that demonstrates hostility toward reproductive choice, individual rights and disdain for a federal court system that serves as a guardian of those rights," she said. "
A die-hard conservative activist with strongly held views on critical constitutional issues, Pickering is exactly the wrong kind of person to serve on an appellate court so pivotal to the lives of so many women," Michelman said.
Fleischer defended Pickering and Bush's other nominations, saying the president and the country need the judges to be confirmed. "
[Supreme Court Chief Justice] William Rehnquist recently stated that there is a judicial vacancy crisis," Fleischer said. "This vacancy crisis is an impediment to justice in the president's opinion and the American people deserve better.
Conservative groups maintain that Pickering does have the proper credentials for the Fifth Circuit Court. They criticize liberals for employing the "politics of personal destruction." "
Judicial philosophy, not political ideology, ought to be a touchstone for confirmation," Ken Conner, president of the Family Research Council, said.
"Conservative judges do not make law. Rather, they construe the laws and Constitution in accordance with the intent of the Founders and Framers, resisting the temptation to graft their own philosophy into the law," Conner said.
Cato Institute legal expert Roger Pilon said Democrats want judges who will "be partial to their statutory schemes, whatever the Constitution may say."
"They want judges committed not to the rule of law but to their own ideology of ever-expanding government," Pilon said.
The Liberals do not like Charles W. Pickering because he is not a liberal. Awwww, and I thought liberals were pro-choice.
People for the American Way? Or the Libertarian Party? Or is there any real difference?
Oh, what a trustworthy constitutionalist he must be.
< /sarcasm >
What's the charge, officer???
(That's the last we'll see of no!)
It's ONLY a matter of time...