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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, June 25, 2002
8:45 PM

WHITE HATS, BLACK HATS... Tom Jackman's story on the nomination of Dennis W. Shedd to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a brief lesson in a certain kind of bias highlighted by former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg in Bias -- presenting advocacy groups as impartial referrees. The headline says it all: Judicial Nomination Alarms Rights Groups. That almost always means liberal-to-leftist groups, as it does in this story.

The lede:

A South Carolina federal judge, scheduled for a Senate confirmation hearing this week on his nomination to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is facing growing opposition from civil rights groups both in his home state and in Washington who say he will make an already conservative court tilt even more to the right.

Conservative bad, liberal good.

As for labels, maybe the NAACP is well-known enough to bypass the label--maybe--but here we go:

Although Shedd's nomination is the longest-standing among appeals court nominees, its movement to the hearing stage after 13 months still irked some observers. "For years, they [Republicans] held up eminently qualified, fair-minded judges, solely for political reasons," said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, which monitors the judicial selection process. "Now the Republicans benefit by their own obstructionism and put a nominee hostile to civil rights claims on the 4th Circuit."

The Alliance for Justice is a liberal advocacy group. Items on their home page includes links to the following: H&R Block Severs Ties with National Rifle Association; Gun Industry Watch; Hostile Environment: How Activist Federal Judges Threaten Our Air, Water, and Land; and Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron Criticizes Bush Administration for Cutting out ABA [from a decisive role in vetting nominees' credentials]

Other "civil rights" groups named in the story are the American Association of University Women--who could be against those nice ladies?--and "a group of 16 professors from three North Carolina law schools" also of no specified political disposition.

Most of Shedd's backers are clear political figures--Sens. Strom Thurmond (R) and Ernest Hollings (D) from the nominee's home state, the White House, etc. The opponents are either cloaked in the "civil rights" honorific or not labeled at all.

Jackman also finds a Democrat in S.C. that supports Shedd.

Shedd made a decision on privacy rights that I strongly disagree with, by the way. But if we're going to watch this game, let's list the player's teams on the program.

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