NCJW Appalled by Recess Appointment of Charles Pickering

January 16, 2004, Washington, DC – In response to today’s recess appointment of Judge Charles Pickering to the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit by President Bush, NCJW President Marsha Atkind released the following statement:

“NCJW is appalled by the President’s recess appointment of Judge Charles Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Pickering is an opponent of fundamental civil rights, including the right to privacy and reproductive freedom. His troubling record on civil rights for African Americans, including his extraordinary and unorthodox efforts to gain leniency for a person convicted of cross burning, is an affront to those residing in the 5th Circuit states and all of us who care about social justice.

“The 5th Circuit has the highest minority population of any circuit in the nation. As the nation begins the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it is especially alarming that the President would bypass the Senate confirmation process and elevate someone whose career has been antithetical to the ideals and principles of civil rights celebrated on Dr. King’s birthday.”

NCJW is a volunteer organization, inspired by Jewish values, that works to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms for all through its network of 90,000 members, supporters, and volunteers nationwide. It has launched BenchMark: NCJW's Campaign to Save Roe, a national effort to educate and mobilize NCJW members, the Jewish community, and friends and allies everywhere to promote a federal bench with judges that support fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose.