Today's Washington Post editorializes in favor of Senate confirmation of Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit:
BEFORE BEING nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Leslie H. Southwick served for almost 12 years on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, where he participated in thousands of cases spanning the gamut of civil and criminal law. A panel of the American Bar Association unanimously found Judge Southwick to be "well qualified" for the promotion, its highest ranking. Yet congressional opponents have latched on to two opinions that Mr. Southwick joined, but did not write, to argue that he is unfit for the federal appeals post. . . .
Judge Southwick wouldn't have been our first choice for this vacancy. Nor do we like the results in the custody and racial slur cases. But we cannot find fault with Judge Southwick's narrow but ultimately legitimate interpretation of the law in those cases, and we do not find in his record the anti-gay, anti-worker caricature his opponents have drawn. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the lone Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of his confirmation, got it right when she concluded that if senators were to examine Judge Southwick's entire career, including his stint as a judge advocate in Iraq, they would find a "qualified, circumspect person."