The more politically plugged-in among you are probably already aware of the fight brewing over Shrub’s first big judicial nominee, but what you probably don’t know is that said nominee — Federal Judge Charles Pickering, up for the Court of Appeals — is my cousin. We’re not close, but we do see each other several times a year. This brings a new perspective to the whole confirmation battle scenario for me. Charles is a staunch Republican, and has certainly been active in the Mississippi GOP for years. He’s been on the Federal bench since 1990 — a position that, of course, also required Congressional approval. That time, it was unanimous.
It won’t be that way for the Court of Appeals. A movement is afoot, largely led by People for the American Way, to defeat his nomination for reasons that probably boil down to the fact that he’s a Republican, which strikes me as a poor way to pick judges. I certainly don’t agree with him politically, but by most accounts he’s been a fine and fair jurist. When the decidedly left-of-center Washington Post says it’s gotten needlessly mean, and that the charges of racism and worse are so much smoke and mirrors, well, you know something ugly is happening. Aside from this piece, the only other balanced material I’ve seen has been in the New York Times; today, there was a long article (registration required) on Charles’ minority support within Mississippi, which is also food for thought.|||||*|