Aug 01 2007

Graham Statement on Judge Southwick

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he hopes the Senate will bring forward and vote on the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick, President Bush’s nominee to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge Southwick’s nomination has been held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee of which Graham is a member.



“In recent years, the confirmation process for judges has taken a turn for the worse,” said Graham.  “One thing I would like to have happen, for the good of the country, is make sure that when well-qualified people come before the Senate they are put through their paces.  We should ask about their qualifications, abilities, disposition, character, demeanor, inquire as to how they think, and what drives their thinking. 



“At the same time, we must understand our job is to confirm people who were nominated by the President.  Elections do matter,” said Graham.  “When we look at a nominee, we should put aside the politics of the last election, of the next election, and focus on the individual.”  



Graham noted Judge Southwick has been serving as a judge in Mississippi since 1995.  He’s been involved in thousands of decisions in a concurring role and authored hundreds of decisions.  In addition, he volunteered as a Lieutenant Colonel to serve in Iraq at the age of 52.  The American Bar Association unanimously considered him well-qualified and said glowing things about his temperament and disposition.  



“Judge Southwick has lived a good life in the law and from all indications, is a good person,” said Graham.  “The objections raised by Democrats are not questions of character or intellect.  This debate is about two legal cases.  My question is: Do you take these two cases where he concurred to say there is something wrong with him?   Did he do something out of the mainstream of the law?  Does it show he is not the type of person you would want to sit in judgment of your case or your family?”



“I think what we are doing to this fine nominee is incredibly unfair,” said Graham.  “There is no real evidence this man harbors animosity against one group or another, quite the contrary.  From everything that I have seen in the record, he is a very decent, scholarly man who has applied the law in an admirable fashion.  I hope Democrats will allow an up-or-down vote and I will continue to push for one.”