Thursday, January 09, 2003
Judicial standards and the liberal line: Predictably, today's New York Times comes out with another scathing attack on Judge Charles Pickering. Pickering, who was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee in the last Congress on a party-line vote, is from Mississippi, the same state as "segregationist" Sen. Trent Lott.
The main charge against Pickering has been his "racial insensitivity" regarding a 1994 cross-burning case. National Review's Byron York summarized the case here -- including the details that the Times and other opponents have a tendency to omit.
You should read York's piece, but to quickly summarize, three men were involved in the cross-burning incident. The Clinton Justice Department reached plea bargains with two of the men -- including the ringleader -- which included no jail time. The third man, while definitely deserving of time in jail (in my opinion, they all should have spent time in jail), was facing 7 1/2 years in federal prison.
Pickering thought that sentence would not be just, considering all of the facts -- and that's what the liberals have rhetorically beat him with.
It should come as no surprise that this really isn't about Pickering and race -- it's about his overall judicial philosophy.
As I was pondering this earlier today, a thought came to me that hadn't occurred at the first tarring of Pickering: If the Democrat/liberal lobby is really concerned about people who are soft on racism (I know they aren't, but just suppose), then why isn't there an investigation into the Clinton-appointed federal prosecutors who OK'd a plea bargain with the ringleader -- who prior to burning the cross had fired a gun into the same home?
I know, consistency in politics is a rare thing -- but I'd love to hear someone in the national punditocracy bring up this point. I'd love to hear an answer.