Tell Sen. Feinstein NO on Southwick

Senator Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of extremist judicial nominee Leslie Southwick, saying that nominees are “not just a collection of prior writings or prior judicial opinions” even though Southwick has:

* An abysmal record on racial discrimination issues
* Expressed a willingness to discriminate against gays and lesbians
* The worst record of his Mississippi Court of Appeals peers when it comes to workers rights

Urge Feinstein to vote against Southwick in the full Senate (visit because of his clearly demonstrated judicial extremism. The full Senate vote may take place the week of Oct. 15 so we need your help now!

Senator Feinstein’s Offices:
Washington, D.C.: (202) 224-3841
San Francisco: (415) 393-0707
Los Angeles: (310) 914-7300
San Diego: (619) 231-1108

As a state appellate judge, Leslie Southwick had an abysmal record on racial discrimination issues. For example, he ruled to reinstate a white employee who had been fired for calling an African-American coworker “a good ole [‘n’ word].”

Southwick also routinely ruled against defense claims that prosecutors rejected African American jurors based on race; while at the same time, he has usually upheld allegations of race discrimination when prosecutors claim that the defense has rejected white jurors.

Southwick has also expressed a willingness to discriminate against gays and lesbians. In ruling to remove a child from the custody of her bisexual mother, he joined an anti-gay opinion that argued the “choice” to engage in homosexuality comes with consequences, up to and including the consideration of “the homosexual lifestyle” as a determining factor in child custody cases.

Finally, Southwick has the worst record of all judges on the Mississippi Court of Appeals when it comes to the rights of workers and victims of personal injury. In 160 of 180 divided published decisions, Southwick’s rulings have favored business and insurance interests over injured parties.

Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts both promised in Senate Confirmation hearings that their history of extremist decisions would be tempered by moderation and judicial restraint. However, just as we feared, these justices remained true to their pre-nomination ideology and in case after case pushed a conservative, reactionary agenda that caused serious cutbacks in employment discrimination law, reproductive freedom, and most recently, voluntary racial integration plans.


It only takes minutes. All you need to do is call and tell her office that you urge the Senator to vote against the confirmation of Leslie Southwick. They ask for your zip code and you are done.

The Californians for Fair and Independent Judges is a coalition of more than 50 organizations working to protect the independence of the federal courts. Our member organizations represent a wide spectrum of communities and causes: environmental, civil rights, civil liberties, reproductive rights, faith based, ethnic, labor, disability, gay rights, seniors, and women’s communities.

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