A Judge's Life: The Final Reckoning

'Look at the Justice System From a Black Perspective'

On January 8, the Federal News Service reported a press conference at which Charles Schumer and Illinois Democratic senator Richard Durbin once again opposed Pickering's nomination. Said Schumer: "There are issues where people of good faith can disagree. . . . This [nomination] is not one of those debatable issues. This [Pickering] is somebody who showed glaring insensitivity in 1994 [the cross-burning case], and I'm still scratching my head in amazement that they actually nominated him."

This depends on what Schumer means by "good faith." Not only Pickering's nomination rides on this nomination. So do the reputations of those Pickering opponents who demonize him. And that includes The New York Times' editorial writers. On October 30, Pickering received only 54 votes. He needs 60 votes to prevent the Democrats from filibustering further action on his nomination.

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