Controversial Judicial Nominee to Have Hearing

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing tomorrow for Charles Pickering, Sr., President Bush’s nominee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pickering, a federal judge from Mississippi, has a history of opposing the rights of women and minorities. As a state Senator, Pickering supported a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. He also chaired the subcommittee of the National Republican Party that in 1976 approved a plank calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to make abortion illegal. Pickering has opposed the Equal Rights Amendment and as a district court judge, criticized remedies provided by the Voting Rights Act to redress discrimination against African-American voters.

The Feminist Majority has joined a coalition of women’s and civil rights groups to oppose the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – already one of the most conservative courts of appeals in the country. The Fifth Circuit hears appeals from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Feminist Majority will continue to oppose any judicial nominee to the federal Courts of Appeal who does not support women’s rights or reproductive rights.

The federal Courts of Appeals are key in protecting abortion rights in the U.S. If the majority of all of the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals become anti-choice, the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court – already only narrowly supportive of abortion rights and in danger of becoming anti-choice – according to Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, “is almost a moot point.” That’s because the Supreme Court only accepts a fraction of the cases it is asked to hear, leaving the Circuit Courts of Appeals as the final recourse for the vast majority of litigants.

Find out more about judicial nominees and take action to protect Roe v. Wade at www.Million4Roe.com.


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