The Senate today confirmed a judge opposed by civil rights groups to a seat on a federal appeals court in the South. Judge Leslie Southwick will serve on the 5th Circuit, which comprises Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, the New York Times reports. A civil rights leader called the appointment “a slap in the face to African Americans,” but Southwick's defenders say his detractors exaggerate.
Southwick once reinstated with back pay a white employee who’d used a racial epithet; in another case, he denied child custody to a bisexual mother. Nine Democrats voted to confirm the former deputy AG, including Dianne Feinstein, who dismissed suggestions of Southwick’s racism. Critics accused Democrats of making a deal for GOP support on future spending bills.