Statement read by Judge Charles W. Pickering Sr. at his home in Herbron, Miss.:
Although I am disappointed that a minority of the Senate kept the majority of the Senate from confirming my nomination, and while this has been a painful process for me and for my family, what has happened to me personally is of no great importance. But what is happening to the confirmation process is tremendously important. That should be a matter of great concern for all Americans.
Though I am disappointed, I am not bitter. My faith has not weakened. I would be remiss if I did not express my deep appreciation to President Bush for his confidence in nominating me and for his unswerving support, to Sen. Thad Cochran for his strong and continuing support, and to Sen. Trent Lott for his "Herculean'' effort. He (Lott) simply could not have done more than he did to try to secure my nomination.
But more than anyone else my son, Congressman Chip Pickering, fought for my confirmation. A father could not expect a son to do more than Chip did in trying to make sure that I was confirmed.
I am grateful to Sen. Hatch and the other senators, both Democrat and Republican, who spoke on my behalf, who defended my record, and to their staffs. And Chip's staff, all who worked so hard, and I am sure had to learn more about Charles Pickering than they ever wanted to know. And to all the senators who voted to stop the filibuster, Republican, Democrat and independent.
But most of all, I am grateful, and humbled by the widespread support of the people of Mississippi, people that I have worked with over the years, the people who know me best, both Republicans and Democrats, both black and white.
I am also grateful for the strong editorial support of all the major newspapers in Mississippi. So many people offered words of encouragement and said a prayer on behalf of Margaret Ann and me. For this outpouring of support, I will be forever grateful.