August 2, 2007

Southwick Nomination Reported To Full Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee finally voted to recommend confirmation of Judge Leslie Southwick to the appellate court this afternoon, on a 10-9 vote where Dianne Feinstein crossed the party line. Mitch McConnell's office sent out the following statement:

“With today’s vote to send Judge Southwick’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to the full Senate, the Judiciary Committee took a step forward in ensuring we are able to confirm qualified judges to our nation’s courts. Judge Southwick is an outstanding jurist, and a bi-partisan majority judged him on his record of service.

“Judge Southwick, an Iraq war veteran, is superbly fit to continue serving his country, this time on the Fifth Circuit. His colleagues know this, as do his home-state senators. The American Bar Association knows this; it has twice given him its highest rating, ‘well-qualified.’ Even Democrats on the Judiciary Committee know this; just last fall all of them—again, all of them—looked at his record and approved him for a lifetime position on the federal bench. With today’s bi-partisan committee vote for Judge Southwick’s nomination, the full Senate should now move forward to his consideration on the Senate floor.”

Southwick can thank McConnell for this progress. Frustrated at the way Democrats reneged on their promise to move judicial nominations, McConnell took the unusual step of offering a sense-of-the-Senate resolution on Southwick's nomination, in order to embarrass Pat Leahy and show that he has majority support in the full Senate. Leahy added Southwick to the agenda, not without a lot of grumbling about McConnell's parliamentary tactics.

This is a rare bit of good news for the Bush administration. Southwick has defended his country and served well on the bench, and deserves confirmation. Thankfully, the Senate can get at least this much accomplished.

UPDATE: Be sure to read this post by the Generalissimo, Duane Patterson. Apparently, Chuck Schumer almost swallowed his face. He also points out that if Harry Reid tries to stuff the confirmation vote, he'll find comity at a microscopic level.


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Comments (8)

Posted by Rose | August 2, 2007 5:53 PM

Let's just hope and pray that McCain and his Gang of 14 keep their paws to theirselves, and for ONCE in their blinking lives vote for what is BEST FOR AMERICA.

On the other hand - it would also be terrific if McCain reminds everyone why he is NOT Presidential or even SENATORIAL material.

Posted by Lightwave | August 2, 2007 6:00 PM

Comity is a two-way street, Ed.

When the only way to get our Federal Judicial vacancies filled is literally having to embarrass the Dems into allowing votes on the President's nominees and then giving somebody as repulsive as Dianne Feinstein enough political cover to grandstand so she can "make the right decision" then there is no such thing as comity and there never was in this Congress.

Payback, revenge, and political gain. That's all the Dems care about. The voters have figured this out. When the GOP was in charge, actual legislation got passed...imagine that.

Posted by Bill M | August 2, 2007 7:51 PM

Any reaction on this from the sinister side of the blogosphere? They can't be real happy about this.

Posted by brooklyn | August 3, 2007 1:18 AM

Another victory...


But still, this is good news.

Certainly the sick obstruction is unjust, but we will take every positive step.

Posted by docjim505 | August 3, 2007 5:32 AM

Cap'n Ed wrote:

[Duane Patterson] also points out that if Harry Reid tries to stuff the confirmation vote, he'll find comity at a microscopic level.

If you're implying that the GOP in the Senate might retaliate for any silliness on the part of Reid...

1. They haven't got the guts

2. Even if they do, there are enough RINO's to come to Dingy Harry's rescue

3. The dems and their media lackeys will simply lament "Republican obstructionism" and the "extreme partisanship" on the part of the GOP. Heads I win, tails you lose.

Posted by Elizabeth Schmitz | August 3, 2007 8:01 PM

From Schmitz Blitz:

Lindsey Catlett of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights reported on Judge Southwicks questionable record:

In Richmond v. Mississippi Dept. of Human Services, Southwick joined the 5-4 majority that upheld the reinstatement of a white social worker who was fired for calling a black employee a "good ole n****."

"[T]he opinion that Southwick joined accepted without any skepticism Richmond's testimony that her use of the racial slur was ‘not motivated out of racial hatred or animosity directed at her co-worker or toward blacks in general, but was, rather, intended to be a shorthand description of her perception of the relationship existing between the [co]-worker and [a Department of Human Services] supervisor,'" said Ralph G. Neas, president of the People for the American Way (PFAW) and Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in a May 8 letter
of opposition to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

The four dissenting judges in Richmond recognized this as a faulty argument and a threat to civil rights: "The word "n****" is, and has always been, offensive. […] There are some words, which by their nature and definition are so inherently offensive, that their use establishes the intent to offend." The dissenting opinion was confirmed when the Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously overturned Richmond.

In another case, S.B. v. L.W., Southwick joined the 5-4 majority that denied a woman custody of her child. The majority considered the sexual orientation of the mother to be a legitimate factor in deciding custody.
But Judge Southwick even went further by joining a concurrence which held that homosexuality is a "choice that bears consequences." As PFAW and HRC stated, "the concurrence appears to have been written for the sole purpose of underscoring and defending Mississippi's hostility toward gay people and what it calls ‘the practice of homosexuality.'"

Unfortunately for blacks and gays in the 5th Circuit, Judge Southwick is likely to be confirmed by the Senate.

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