U.S. federal judge confirmations in the 110th Congress

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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Charles Pickering to the fifth circuit, but the nomination was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2002. Bush later gave Pickering a recess appointment to the fifth circuit in 2004. Pickering was not renominated when his term expired at the end of the 108th Congress.[1]

Bush then nominated Michael Wallace for the seat in the 109th Congress, but the Senate never voted on the nomination.[1]

Nomination of Leslie Southwick

In the 109th Congress, President Bush nominated Leslie Southwick to a seat on a federal district court in Mississippi, but his nomination was not acted on before the end of the 109th Congress. With the seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals still vacant at the beginning of the 110th Congress, Bush decided to nominate Southwick for that position instead.[1]

Southwick's appointment proved to be controversial. Opponents pointed in particular to two opinions issued when Southwick was a judge on the Mississippi Court of Appeals. In the first case, Southwick voted to uphold a ruling that reinstated an employee who had been fired for referring to a fellow employee, an African-American, as a "good ol' n-." In the second case, Southwick voted with the majority to deny custody of a child to a bisexual woman. In the latter case, Southwick also joined a concurring opinion that referred to homosexuality as a choice.[2]

Southwick's nomination was narrowly voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 10-9 tally, with Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) vote breaking a 9-9 tie.[2]

Democrats attempted to filibuster Southwick's nomination but cloture was successfully invoked on October 24, 2007.

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2007 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Nay


"Motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Leslie Southwick of Mississippi to be a judge for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Opponents argued that, in his positions related to African Americans, workers, gays, and women, Mr. Southwick was unsuited to a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)

Southwick was then confirmed by a vote of 59-38.

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Human Rights Campaign 2008 Senate Votes

Org. position: Nay


"On Oct. 24, 2007, the Senate voted on President Bush’s nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate confirmed his nomination by a vote of 59-38 (Roll Call Vote No. 393, 1st Session, 110th Congress). Democrats — 9 yes, 37 no, 3 not voting; Republicans — 49 yes, 0 no; Independents — 1 yes, 1 no. HRC opposed the nomination."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.hrc.org/about_us/7194.htm)

Scored vote

Scorecard: AFSCME 2007 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Nay


"The Senate approved the confirmation of Leslie Southwick of Mississippi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which AFSCME opposed because of his long-standing record of ruling against workers, consumers and victims of discrimination."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.afscme.org/legislation-politics/19812.cfm)

Scored vote

Scorecard: Family Research Council 2007-2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye


"Judge Leslie Southwick of Mississippi was nominated on January 9, 2007 by President George W. Bush to serve as a judge on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. After months of delay, Judge Southwick was confirmed on 10/24/07."

(Original scorecard available at http://www.frcaction.org/get.cfm?i=VR08I01

Articles and resources

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Keith Perine, "Judiciary Chairman Says Court Nominee Will Not Get Out of Committee", CQ Politics, June 14, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bob Egelko, "Feinstein draws fire over vote for judge", San Francisco Chronicle, August 4, 2007.

External resources

External articles