Novak: Katrina Will Avenge Southwick?

Last week, the Senate voted to confirm controversial appeals-court nominee Leslie Southwick, whose disturbing record led civil rights groups such as PFAW and the NAACP to oppose him. Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu was among the majority of Democratic senators to vote against Southwick, and conservative columnist Robert Novak claims that this proves her “reliance” on black voters—“even though” many black voters have not returned since Hurricane Katrina and the stalled rebuilding of New Orleans.

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, the only incumbent Democrat considered vulnerable in 2008, showed this week she continues to rely on African-American voters even though well over 100,000 of them left her state in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Landrieu not only voted Wednesday against confirming former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick as a U.S. Appeals Court judge but also opposed bringing his nomination to a floor vote. Civil rights groups lobbied against Southwick’s confirmation. He was confirmed, 59 to 38.

Landrieu and other Louisiana Democrats long have counted on a 100,000-vote margin or more out of Orleans Parish (New Orleans). But because of the heavy black emigration, its total vote was around 75,000 last Saturday and was carried by Republican U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal in his election as governor.