Surprise!Bush nominates another bigot!
A civil rights group on Wednesday called for the Senate to reject President Bush's nominee for the Fifth Circuit.
A vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee was postponed earlier this month after Democrats said they needed more time to examine the record of Leslie Southwick who sat on the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
People for the American Way say Southwick is unsuited for the federal court. The Fifth Circuit covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
The court does not routinely consider the types of federal constitutional and civil rights matters that come before the Fifth Circuit, but Southwick’s judicial record is telling nonetheless, Neas said, pointing to two cases in particular.
In 2001, Southwick joined a ruling that upheld a lower court decision to take an eight-year-old girl away from her mother and award custody to the father, who had never married the mother, largely because the mother was living with another woman in a “lesbian home.”
Southwick's concurrence extolled Mississippi’s right under “the principles of Federalism” to treat “homosexual persons” as second-class citizens. The concurrence suggested that sexual orientation is a choice and suggest that mother might have held onto her child had she made a different "choice".
In 1998, Southwick joined a ruling in an employment case that upheld the reinstatement, without any punishment whatsoever, of a white state employee who was fired for calling an African American co-worker a “good ole nigger.”
The court’s decision effectively ratified a hearing officer’s opinion that the slur was only “somewhat derogatory” and “was in effect calling the individual a ‘teacher’s pet.’” The Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision.