Charles W. Pickering, Sr.
Charles W. Pickering, Sr., is a retired judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He is a Gideon, a member of the Boards of Trustees of William Carey University (a Baptist institution) and Mission Mississippi (a faith based organization promoting better race relations and understanding through shared faith in Jesus Christ).
He is a former president of Mississippi Baptists. He began his private law practice in 1961, and in October 1990, former President George H.W. Bush appointed him U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi, where he served 13 years. Eleven months after his recess appointment from President George W. Bush in January 2004, Pickering retired as an appellate judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. After retiring from the bench Pickering was senior counsel with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz law firm for five years, after which he opened a solo mediation practice.
In 2007 and 2008, prior to becoming a member of the Alliance Defending Freedom Board of Directors, Pickering served on the faculty for the Blackstone Legal Fellowship. Since joining the Board of Directors of Alliance Defending Freedom, he has continued to serve on the faculty of this Fellowship. His passion as a former judge to see our Constitution restored to its original intent piqued his interest in Alliance Defending Freedom, which he sees as leading the way toward reaching this goal.
Pickering was the county prosecuting attorney for Jones County, Mississippi, for four years, served in the Mississippi State Senate for eight years, was chairman of the Republican Party in Mississippi, and emerged as the Republican nominee for attorney general of the state. He also became the first chairman of the Jones County Economic Development Authority, and co-chaired the governor's commission to establish a civil rights museum in Mississippi. Pickering served as vice-chairman of the Southern Baptist Peace Committee, which he was instrumental in creating. He authored Supreme Chaos: The Politics of Judicial Confirmation and the Culture War, and A Price Too High: The Judiciary in Jeopardy. Pickering appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes; Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, andHannity & Colmes; MSNBC's Scarborough Country; Court TV's Catherine Crier Live; PBS's The News Hour with Jim Lehrer; CSPAN'sWashington Journal; Focus on the Family; and Janet Parshall's America.
Pickering has taught Sunday school at his Baptist church for more than 40 years while serving in many other capacities, including chairman of the deacons. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, and in 1999 helped create the Institute for Racial Reconciliation at his alma mater. Pickering graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and received an honorary doctorate from William Carey University. Pickering also serves on the Boards of Trustees for the Foundation for the Civil Rights Museum in Mississippi, Wildlife Mississippi (a conservation group), and Magnolia State Bank.