GOP Gains Could Help Pickering - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

November 3, 2004

GOP Gains Could Help Pickering

The Republican party scored major gains in Tuesday's election. Not only did President Bush win a second term, but the GOP also gained four seats in the Senate, assuring the party of at least 55 seats.

And Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran is expected to take over the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Trent Lott is already chairman of the Rules Committee. 

Political observers are now wondering if the new makeup of the Senate, and the defeat in South Dakota of Minority Leader Tom Daschle, may improve the chances that Judge Charles Pickering could be confirmed to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pickering received a recess appointment to the court by the president this year, but that temporary appointment expires soon.

Despite having 55 senators, the GOP would still need five more to guarantee a confirmation for Pickering.

And is he even interested?

"I would hope that I would be confirmed," Pickering told News Seven on Wednesday. "I hope this victory would allow my name to come up for an up-or-down vote, but based on past experience, I'm not holding my breath.

"We stayed the course and fought a good fight," he said. "I'm at peace regardless of the outcome." 

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