- October 30 - People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas today declared the vote rejecting cloture on the nomination of Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals a victory for civil rights, our independent judiciary, and the Senate confirmation process.
"I congratulate the courageous senators who held fast in their opposition to this nominee in the face of enormous pressure from the White House, Senator Trent Lott, Representative Chip Pickering and their right-wing allies. These senators are heroes who are willing to stand up for the Constitution, and efforts to paint them as obstructionists are simply outrageous. Judge Pickering's record of hostility to the principles of civil rights and equal access under the law made him the wrong choice for this powerful, lifetime position to the federal appellate bench.
"Today's vote shows again that the filibuster is crucial to our constitutional system of checks and balances. Now that the cloture vote has failed, I urge the White House to start working with the Senate in a bipartisan fashion to select mainstream nominees who will be confirmed, and stop trying to score political points with the far right by pushing extreme nominees."