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Senate Confirms a Bigot as U.S. Circuit Judge

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mary Shaw       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Leslie Southwick, a known bigot, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Here is what the organization People for the American Way had to say about Southwick:
Two cases in particular serve to highlight Southwick's lack of commitment to the social justice progress of the last fifty years. In 1998, Southwick joined a ruling in an employment case that upheld the reinstatement, without any punishment whatsoever, of a white state employee who was fired for calling an African American co-worker a "good ole n-word." The court's decision effectively ratified a hearing officer's opinion that the slur was only "somewhat derogatory" and "was in effect calling the individual a 'teacher's pet.'" The Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision. In 2001, Southwick joined a ruling that upheld a chancellor's decision to take an eight-year-old girl away from her mother and award custody to the father, who had never married the mother, largely because the mother was living with another woman in a "lesbian home." Southwick went even further by joining a gratuitously anti-gay concurrence which extolled Mississippi's right under "the principles of Federalism" to treat "homosexual persons" as second-class citizens. The concurrence suggested that sexual orientation is a choice and stated that an adult is not "relieved of the consequences of his or her choice" - e.g. losing custody of one's child.
And now this judge has gotten a big promotion. > Read more about Southwick. > See how your senators voted. ###

 

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
 

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