Senate Will Vote on Pickering Nomination on Thursday

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 29, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Will Vote on Pickering Nomination on Thursday

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 29, 2003

Washington, DC ( — On Thursday, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, it appears pro-abortion lawmakers will make Pickering another victim of a filibuster, as they have done with other pro-life judicial nominations President Bush has sent forward.

Pickering, the father of pro-life Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS), is a longtime pro-life stalwart.

As a state Senator, he wrote a constitutional amendment to ban abortion that was adopted by the Mississippi Republican Party. Also, Pickering 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.

Those pro-life views have prompted abortion advocacy groups to oppose his nomination and they have encouraged pro-abortion senators to filibuster.

"Judge Pickering’s record reveals deep-rooted opposition to reproductive rights, and therefore his elevation must be rejected again," Planned Parenthood told lawmakers in a statement.

Senate Democrats are likely to oppose a cloture vote to end the filibuster and that doesn’t go over well with the Bush administration.

"Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats have decided to filibuster several judicial nominations," Vice President Dick Cheney said. "It is time to give every nominee a vote on the Senate floor, and they can start with Judge Charles Pickering."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Claude Allen to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Like Pickering, Allen is pro-life.

During yesterday’s hearing, pro-abortion Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) expressed his disapproval of Allen’s nomination saying, "Claude Allen is a conservative political operative with little litigation experience and extreme views.

Allen helped draft Virginia’s parental notification law and supported a pro-life law requiring abortion facilities to give women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives 24 hours prior to performing an abortion. Similar laws in other states have significantly reduced the number of abortions.

Also, Allen has served as a director on the board of Peacemaker Ministries, a Christian organization that helps parties in a dispute use arbitration rather than lawsuits to settle disagreements.

ACTION: Contact your senators and urge strong support for the nomination of Charles Pickering. You can reach any senator at 202-224-3121 or go to