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VOL. 4, NO. 7 FEBRUARY 28, 2002

Bickering over Pickering: Committee Vote Postponed

The Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Charles Pickering, Sr.'s nomination to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has been postponed from February 28th until next Thursday, March 7th. What Americans are learning is much less about Pickering himself and much more about the ten radically liberal Democrats — the Tyrannical Ten who control the Judiciary Committee and the Unholy Alliance of radically liberal pressure groups (e.g., PFAW, NARAL, NOW, etc.) who control the ten Democrats. Major news organizations are giving this nomination virtually unprecedented attention and are calling for the Committee to at least pass him to the Senate, where he is expected to be approved (likely due to courageous votes by Democrat Sens. Zell Miller (GA) and Fritz Hollings (SC).

The "scorched earth" tactics being employed by the Democrats against Pickering must be understood against the background of several critical facts:

  1. So far the Democrat-controlled Senate has approved only 7 of Bush's 26 appellate Court nominations — an appallingly low 27%, which makes every rejection of an appellate nominee now of extraordinary importance.

  2. The Pickering blitz by liberals is the third stage in the war against justice and the Constitution by liberals. As asserted by Tom Jipping, Director of the Judicial Selection Monitoring Project, Stage One was a general stonewalling of Bush's Judicial nominees, resulting in only about one-third of all Bush nominees having been ratified by the Senate. Stage Two was a focused attack on specific courts to keep them under-manned (e.g., the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals). Stage Three is a focused attack on specific nominees, i.e., Charles Pickering. It is long past time for Americans committed to Courting Justice to stop this well-orchestrated attack.

  3. The signals now coming from Senate Democrats are that NO conservative/restraintist Bush nominees will be passed. This response by the Democrats was justified by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), who chaired the unprecedented second Pickering hearing recently. She resurrected an old liberal argument used before the 9-11 disaster that Bush won his office by such a narrow margin that he has no right to appoint conservative/restraintist judges to the bench.

  4. This bickering over Pickering is far more than a battle over one nominee. It is the latest fight in the massive Culture War which is engulfing America, and it is an opening salvo in the 2004 Presidential race. The Denver Post opined on February 25 that "[this] nomination deserves to become the first real battle of the 2004 presidential campaign. There could be no better first round to that battle than a full Senate vote on the Pickering nomination [which will not happen if the Tyrannical Ten on the Judiciary Committee block his passage to the Senate]."

  5. Certain Senate Democrats are clearly making the Pickering problem a launch pad for their further political climb, including the presidency. One such individual is the freshman Democrat Senator from NC, John Edwards. As pointed out by George Will in his column of February 26th, Edwards seems to be already running; and Edwards's vehement questioning of Pickering during the second Pickering hearing by the Judiciary Committee (of which Edwards is a member) certainly appears to be the action of a would-be 2004 presidential campaign. The transformation of the critically important judicial nomination process into a personal tool for presidential aspirants is unconscionable.

So much for the radical liberals' ardent pontifications about appointing judges who are "fair" and commmitted to "justice." The unfair and unjust treatment of Pickering is reminiscent of the worst debacles in Judiciary Committee history, such as the vilification of Robert Bork in 1987.

BUT WE THE PEOPLE ARE STILL THE ULTIMATE GOVERNORS IN AMERICA, AND IT TIME FOR US TO REMIND OUR SENATORS OF THAT FACT. THEY ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE TO US, AND NOT TO ANY OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. THE PICKERING NOMINATION AFFORDS US THE OPPORTUNITY TO FORCEFULLY REMIND SENATORS OF THAT FUNDAMENTAL FACT AND TO STRICK A BLOW FOR A JUDICIARY COMMITTED TO COURTING JUSTICE. TO DO THIS, TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:

  • Contact the White House, urging Pres. Bush to make the strongest defense to the Senate and the public for Pickering and his other qualified nominees: 
    E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov 
    Phone: 202-456-1111 
    Write: President Bush, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20500

  • Contact Presidential Counselor Karen Hughes, encouraging the same actions of her. (Contact via the White House phone number)

  • Contact your Senators: if they are Democrats, urge them to use their majority party power to generate a favorable vote for Pickering in the Committee and on the floor of the Senate; if they are Republicans, urge them to unleash all their power in favor of Pickering.

  • Focus especially on the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee; and be very involved if you are a resident of the Fifth Circuit (TX, LA, MS).

  • Let your Senators know that you will be following their vote, and that they will continue to hear from you about America's judicial crisis.

  • Flood the media during the next week — talk shows, letters to the editor, etc. The media are a major battlefield in this fight for Courting Justice, and we MUST fight much more effectively.


Toll Free number to contact any U.S. Senator: 1-877-762-8762


REMEMBER: 2 Chronicles 20:15

WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!


 
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