Friday, February 06, 2004

Know Bush Fact #4

On Thursday, January 15, 2004, long-planned memorial celebrations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta had to be completely changed because Bush came to town for a photo-op at Dr. King’s gravesite. His appearance brought protests and vocal demonstrators who realized what an election year gimmick it was (he had ignored invitations on previous years), especially as he left the King Center and headed straight over to his $1.3 million campaign fund-raiser.

Their belief in his insincerity was verified the very next day when Bush used the last day of Congressional recess to push through the appointment of Charles Pickering to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Senate Democrats had previously successfully blocked Pickering’s nomination, due to his anti-civil rights “activist judge” ways. Their example had been the judge’s effort in 1994 to reduce the sentence of a man convicted of burning a cross near the home of an interracial couple.

Other concerns they had included: efforts against the Voting Rights Act, 15 reversals of his judgments regarding constitutional, civil rights, criminal procedure and labor issues, and his severe criticisms of civil rights plaintiffs.

So Bush chose to use the Martin Luther King holiday weekend to do a recess appointment, ignoring the will of Congress.
It should be noted that on Dr. King’s birthday last year, Bush came out against the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action program.

- February 6, 2004

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