Pickering Steps Down

by TChris

Complaining of the "extreme special-interest groups" that opposed his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Charles Pickering announced his retirement from the court. President Bush used a recess appointment to send Pickering to the court after the Senate twice failed to overcome a filibuster of his nomination. TalkLeft's coverage of Pickering is collected here.

Pickering complained that his nomination was opposed because of "hostility to any nominee with strong religious convictions who personally disagrees with them on abortion, marriage and references to God at public ceremonies and institutions." More accurately, his nomination was opposed by those who feared that his personal opinions, rather than faithfulness to the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent, would guide his decision-making. As Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, commented, it was "a graceless goodbye."

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