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Senate Confirms Southwick As Appellate Judge

The Senate voted today to confirm President Bush’s candidate for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, handing Republicans a judicial victory, but angering interest groups representing a broad swath of the Democratic Party base that opposed the nomination.

The vote was 59 to 38 to confirm Leslie Southwick, a former Mississippi Court of Appeals judge who became the flashpoint in a debate over judicial diversity, minority rights, and racial sensitivity. 

At a press conference after the vote, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) welled up, his eyes filled with tears and his voice quivered.

"This is emotional for me," said Lott, who worked to line up votes for Southwick.