Oct 24 2007
Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of confirming President Bush’s nominee, Judge Leslie Southwick, to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and criticized the cloture votes of Senators Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and Barack Obama (D-Illinois), both of whom are running to be President.
The 5th Circuit covers the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi . Southwick was confirmed by a vote of 59-38.
“Judge Southwick was an unusually well-qualified candidate by any standard,” said Graham. “He has the humanity, intellect, and judicial demeanor you want in someone serving on the federal bench. I think he was one of the most qualified judicial candidates to come before the Senate.”
Graham noted Judge Southwick has compiled a long and distinguished record of service including service as a member of the Mississippi Court of Appeals from 1995 to December 2006 and service in Iraq as a member of the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Brigade Combat Team.
On a speech on the Senate floor, Graham noted Judge Southwick received the highest qualified rating from the American Bar Association and comes highly recommended from those who have worked with him. Graham also termed the arguments used by opponents to derail the nomination of Southwick as “political garbage.”
“People who have worked with and know Judge Southwick the best have nothing but glowing things to say about him,” said Graham. “The attacks which were manufactured against him equate to the worst in politics today. Judge Southwick was a highly qualified nominee and I was proud to vote in support of his confirmation to the federal bench. He will serve with honor and distinction.”
Graham also noted Senators Clinton and Obama, the two leading Democrats running for President both voted against cloture – the procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter and thereby overcome a filibuster -- on Judge Southwick.
“What will these Senators ask and expect if they get to be President and send judicial nominees to the Senate?” questioned Graham. “They will want straight up-or-down votes on their nominees. Will the Senate be able or should they even expect the Senate to rise above the example they set today?”
“Their willingness to participate in a filibuster denying cloture on Judge Southwick shows a lack of vision and leadership,” said Graham. “Their desire to pander to the hard left has overcome their appreciation for what would happen to the judiciary, the country, and yes, even the Presidency, if every Senator followed their example.”