After a partisan battle, the Senate confirmed the judicial appointment of D. Brooks Smith to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday by a vote of 64-35. Smith, a U.S. District Judge from Pennsylvania, was opposed by many Senate Democrats, the Feminist Majority and other women’s groups because of his questionable ethics and conservative politics.
“There’s hardly a moderate among them, particularly at the appellate court level,” Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said to the Associated Press, about a trend in Bush nominees. “The nominees are committed to an ideological agenda which turns the clock back to the 1930s, maybe the 1890s.”
Smith was criticized particularly for his membership in the all-male Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club. When he was under consideration for his District Court position in 1988, he acknowledged that his membership would violate judicial ethics, and promised to resign if the club’s by-laws were not changed. However, the club did not change its rules, and Smith did not resign until recently, when the judgeship opened up on the Third Circuit.