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Judge News: Jeffords to Vote For Pickering



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Most insiders expect the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote on the
federal appeals court nomination of Charles Pickering, scheduled for
Thursday morning, to be delayed. Since this is the nomination’s first
appearance on the committee’s voting agenda, Democrats are entitled to ask
that the vote be put off until the committee’s next business session. But
one bit of news has come out before the meeting even begins. If Pickering’s
nomination eventually makes it to the Senate floor, he will get the vote of
a senator who has so far joined in the Democratic filibusters of other Bush
nominees. Last week, Vermont Sen. James Jeffords, who is nominally an
independent but votes with Democrats, announced that he would support
Pickering. This is part of Jeffords’ statement:


I solicit and listen to the opinions expressed by my colleagues and look at
the statements of the nominees. I also review decisions the nominee made in
the past, and examine the transcript from any nomination hearing that may
have occurred. I have done all this in this case, and in fact, have gone one
step further to meet with Judge Pickering to discuss some issues of concern
with his nomination.

Finally, just weeks before he died I took counsel from a very dear,
long-term friend of mine, the late Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge
Fred Parker. Judge Parker informed me of his personal knowledge and respect
for Judge Pickering, and his belief that Judge Pickering was well qualified
to serve on the federal circuit court of appeals.

From my review of all the information, I believe that Judge Pickering is
qualified to be a federal judge, and I will vote accordingly. I understand,
and fully respect, that some of my colleagues have come to a different
conclusion.




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