TAGGART – On Leslie Southwick

There have been few lawyers ever admitted to the bar who are better suited to sit as judges than is Leslie Southwick, President Bush’s nominee for the United States Fifth Circuit (Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas) Court of Appeals. Judge Southwick, formerly one of the original members of the Mississippi Court of Appeals, is before the United States Senate for confirmation right now. He is one of the most honorable, decent, kind, patriotic and intellectually gifted men I have ever known.

His nomination is opposed by the usual crowd of left wing opponents of anything or anyone that comes from Mississippi. That’s fine.

But those people should be honest. Despite what they say, their opposition to Judge Southwick is not really based on any of his opinions — for goodness sake, if any of us had published the number of written legal opinions that Judge Southwick has, our best friends and family members would find something they disagreed with.

No, their opposition is based on Judge Southwick’s race, pure and simple. And that is the least defensible basis imaginable for saying that a superbly qualified man of exemplary character and unquestioned devotion to his country should not be confirmed to serve as a federal appeals court judge.

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