Taking advantage of the newly sworn in and Republican-friendly Congress Wednesday, President George W. Bush nominated Charles Pickering, a judge from Mississippi, to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination has brought outrage from Democrats, who have sworn to fight Pickering’s nomination.
Democrats allege the Mississippi judge is a racist and his religious beliefs and pro-life views will influence his rulings. The Democrats may want to stick it to the Republicans as soon as possible in this new year, but the bottom line is their arguments don’t hold water. They should either find some new ones, or pack it up and go home.
The basis of the Democrats arguments come from a paper Pickering wrote more than 40 years ago about interracial marriages, and they have implied Pickering will not uphold abortion rights and may not uphold civil rights. All of this is based on assumption.
While the Democrats did suffer a blow in November, to fight the Bush Administration this early on a nomination simply states that the Democrats are trying to gain ground at any cost. The term “picking their battles” comes to mind.
The nomination, however, is surprising after the bad blood and civil rights implications that surrounded Republican Sen. Trent Lott’s controversial comments while paying tribute to Sen. Strom Thurmond. Washington insiders were taken aback when President Bush called for Lott’s resignation.
Now with the renomination of Pickering, it seems the White House has not learned from its mistakes. Democrats obviously had assumed the Bush Administration would reconsider Pickering’s nomination and were unprepared to fight it. The Democrats need to find a leg to stand on and find it fast.
This last argument may be the Democrat’s best bet. However, in order to successfully fight Pickering’s nomination, the Democrats need to find hard, racially charged evidence and present it. Otherwise, they should admit defeat and return to battle another day.