A little judicial activism

By Geraldine Sealey
Published March 29, 2004 9:13PM (EST)

Condoleezza Rice got all the attention from her turn on 60 Minutes, but TalkLeft, a blog devoted to criminal justice issues, has its own favorite interview from last night's show: Bush's recess appointee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Charles Pickering. "He showed himself to be every bit the conservative judicial activist people have been fearing all along," says TalkLeft. "We were pretty disgusted with Pickering's interview. Of all the cases that show the unfairness of the federal sentencing guidelines -- the one case he felt so strongly about he decided he just could not impose the mandated sentence -- was that of a cross-burner convicted of a hate crime. He twisted the prosecution's arm to drop part of the charge so that he only had to give the guy 2 1/2 years instead of the recommended 7 1/2 years. Protecting the independence and integrity of our federal courts is one of the best reasons we can think of for Booting Bush."

TalkLeft also provides an opportunity for a little judicial activism on everyone's part: "We lost on Pickering. The next one coming up is William Meyers. Act now to oppose his confirmation to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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