Leslie Southwick, President Bush's latest nomination to fill one of two empty seats of the 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals, shares his name with an odd British man who writes books about swords. And, given the Mississippian Southwick's judicial record, the author of London Silver-Hilt Swords
might be preferable.
As much as I'd love to imagine the scene if the judges of the 5th Circuit all had blades-- C-Span would start looking like the Senate circa 1856 (Charles Sumner with stitches and serrated vengeance!)-- it looks for now that it might be the judicial system that's getting maimed.
The latest of several Bush nominations to the 5th Circuit to face significant opposition, Southwick has a depressing record in cases relating to civil justice-- he's defended racial slurs from white bosses as terms of endearment, and in 2001 separated an eight-year-old girl from her mother, granting custody to the unmarried father and valiantly rescuing her from the mother's "lesbian home." Those homosexual housing plans get you every time.
Of course, we shouldn't really be surprised about this latest nomination. Aside from Edward C. Prado, a San Antonio moderate, all of Bush's appointments to the 5th Circuit have been staunchly conservative. And his two failed attempts, Charles Pickering and Michael Wallace, have just been staunchly crazy, presiding over the terrifyingly named Mississippi Baptist Convention and deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association, respectively.