The National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation opposes the nomination of Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and we are proud to stand today with the Congressional Black Caucus and many allied organizations to ask the U.S. Senate to reject this nomination.
As an attorney and Louisiana native, I know how badly the people of Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana need an appellate judge who is not biased against women, people of color, gays and lesbians, consumers, workers, accident and malpractice victims, and anyone seeking redress of their rights. Very few cases get to the Supreme Court, so for the residents of those three states, the Fifth Circuit is their court of last resort. They deserve a judge that will give every party a fair hearing. Leslie Southwick is not that judge.
In addition to opinions cited in many news reports, Judge Southwick has demonstrated callous disregard for victims of violence, including a woman assaulted in a nursing home and a domestic violence survivor who killed her abuser; and he has applied the definition of “marriage” inconsistently in family law cases in order to protect men’s assets to the detriment of women.
NOW Foundation joins major women’s organizations in opposing this nomination, including the National Council of Negro Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Congress of Black Women, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Women’s Law Center, and the National Partnership for Women and Families.
The Senate later confirmed Leslie Southwick by a vote of 59-38.