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April 25, 2017  
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS ACTION ALERT

Call Your Senators and Oppose the Nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the U.S. Court of Appeals!

TAKE ACTION NOW!
February 26, 2002

REASON: Call your Senators and the Senate Judiciary Committee by dialing the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and urge him or her to oppose confirmation of Judge Charles Pickering, Sr. to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has profound concerns with the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering, Sr., presently of the Southern District of Mississippi, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Pickering’s record as a district court judge and as a state senator exemplifies his hostility to NASW priorities, specifically, civil rights and voting rights, in addition to a woman’s right to choose. Since its inception, NASW has fought vigorously for the protection of these issues through earnest advocacy efforts implemented to redress attacks on individual liberties, freedoms, and discriminatory practices. If the U.S. Senate confirms his nomination, Judge Pickering will serve on the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals comprises the highest concentration of ethnic minorities in the country.

THE PICKERING RECORD: It is within the power of the federal judiciary to enforce U.S. civil rights laws to protect equal rights for all its citizens. Judge Charles Pickering has exhibited a marked hostility to civil rights, including criticizing and seeking to limit remedies for violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

  • In 1959, Judge Pickering, in a law review article, urged a remedy that would let Mississippi authorities bring felony prosecutions for interracial cohabitation.
  • In the 1970s, state Senator Pickering twice voted for a reapportionment plan that would increase the number of senators per district while diluting the voting strength of African Americans and other racial minorities.
  • In 1976, state Senator Pickering chaired the Human Rights and Responsibilities Subcommittee of the National Republican Party Platform Committee protesting the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.
  • In 1993, Judge Pickering published an opinion questioning the "one-person-one-vote" doctrine as "obtrusive."

SOCIAL WORK ACTION: There are approximately 28 million residents in the Fifth Circuit. Forty-three percent of the population is either African American or Hispanic. NASW believes that this demographic composition properly suggests the necessity for equity and balance in the U.S. judicial system, including the Fifth Circuit. In the Fifth Circuit, nine of the 14 sitting judges are Republican appointees who have adjudicated cases that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities, women and working-class Americans. Judge Pickering’s record is one of insensitivity, indifference and even disdain regarding the principles of civil rights. Moreover, his rulings frequently have been reversed for discarding controlling precedent on constitutional rights and improperly denying people access to the courts. Americans require equanimity and adherence to the fundamentals of democracy for officers of the courts. In view of such, please call, write, or e-mail your Senator on the Judiciary Committee and urge him or her to oppose Judge Pickering’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Committee vote is scheduled for February 28, 2002.

Senate Judiciary Committee

Patrick Leahy, (D-VT) Orrin Hatch, (R-UT)
Edward Kennedy, (D-MA) Strom Thurmond, (R-SC)
Joseph Biden, (D-DE) Charles Grassley, (R-IA)
Herb Kohl, (D-WI) Arlen Spector, (R-PA)
Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) Jon Kyl, (R- AZ)
Russell Feingold, (D-WI) Mike Dewine, (R-OH)
Charles Schumer, (D-NY) Jeff Sessions, (R-AL)
Richard Durbin, (D-IL) Sam Brownback, (R-KS)
Maria Cantwell, (D-WA) Mitch McConnell, (R-KY)
John Edwards, (D-NC)

AT THIS TIME IN THE PROCESS TELEPHONE CALLS WILL BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY FOR SOCIAL WORKERS TO GET THEIR POSITION HEARD!

HOWEVER IF YOU CANNOT MAKE A CALL IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS SEND A LETTER TO YOUR SENATORS THROUGH CONGRESS WEB NOW:

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CONTACT: Lawrence Moore, III, at (202) 336-8289.

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