Pickering deserves spot on appeals court

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 19, 2004

While supporters are cheering, critics are furious over a powerplay by President George Bush that allowed Charles Pickering to betemporarily appointed to the U. S. Court of Appeals.

Pickering, a Laurel native, was sworn in Friday evening afterthe President made a recess appointment that will allow the judgeto sit on the New Orleans-based court until December. Theappointment is a political but legal move, used by presidents inthe past, which sidesteps Democratic opposition and sets up ajudicial confrontation in Washington for the next 12 months.

Pickering’s nomination has been blocked since 2001 by Democratsupset by attempts by Bush to put more conservative judges on thefederal bench.

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Civil rights groups have opposed Pickering over their belief inhis opposition to civil rights issues. Pickering and his supportershave denied those claims as baseless and without merit.

We applaud the appointment, as Pickering is an honorable andfair man who has been used as a political football by Democrats totry to block Bush appointments. Pickering is well-deserving of theseat and will bring a tremendous amount of credibility to theappeals court bench.