A controversial judge appointed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that he would step down from the bench when Congress adjourns. Charles Pickering was placed on the federal bench by President Bush in a recess appointment after Pickering’s nomination was stalled by a Democratic filibuster. With the urging of a broad coalition of women’s rights and civil rights groups, Democrats had blocked Pickering’s nomination from receiving a full vote in the US Senate due to his anti-women and anti-civil rights history.
As a recess appointee, Pickering’s term expires when Congress reconvenes next year. Rather than seek re-appointment, which would entail going through the confirmation process in the Senate again, Pickering chose to retire. Bush also installed William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a recess appointment, which expires in the fall of 2005.
As a state Senator, Pickering supported a constitutional amendment to ban abortion and chaired the subcommittee of the National Republican Party that in 1976 approved a plank calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to make abortion illegal. Pickering has opposed the Equal Rights Amendment and as a district court judge, criticized remedies provided by the Voting Rights Act to redress discrimination against African-American voters. Also as a federal district judge, Pickering attempted to intercede in a case to reduce the sentence of a convicted cross burner.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .