December 4, 2012 - Harrogate, Tennessee — Retired Judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr., will give the commencement address at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) on Saturday, December 15, at 11 a. m. in Tex Turner Arena. The University is set to confer 413 degrees during the ceremony.

Pickering retired from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in December 2004. His appointment by President George W. Bush in 2001 put him front and center in the battle over President Bush’s effort to put judges on the federal bench who would interpret the Constitution as adopted, not as a changing, evolving document. Although the American Bar Association assessed Judge Pickering as well qualified, a minority in the U.S. Senate obstructed and blocked Judge Pickering’s confirmation, a battle that spanned nearly four years and resulted in his retirement.

Prior to his service as a federal judge, Pickering served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi for over 13 years. He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and received unanimous Senate confirmation. Prior to the bench, Pickering notched 30 years of private law practice. Following his retirement from the bench, Judge Pickering served four years with the law firm of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, in Jackson, Miss. He is now a solo practitioner, conducting mediations, arbitrations and serving as a trial and appellate consultant.

Pickering has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs advocating reform of the confirmation process. As a result of his four-year confirmation battle, he wrote two books: Supreme Chaos, The Politics of Judicial Confirmation and the Culture War (Stroud and Hall, 2006) and A Price too High, the Judiciary in Jeopardy (Stroud and Hall, 2007).

Pickering received an associate’s degree from Jones County Junior College and a bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi. He holds an honorary doctorate from William Carey University. Pickering is married to the former Margaret Ann Thomas. They have three daughters, Paige Dunkerton, Allison Montgomery and Christi Chapman, and one son, former Congressman Chip Pickering. They have 21 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

LMU will confer 413 degrees including; 39 associate, 120 bachelor, 242 master and 12 doctorate-level degrees. Additionally, 380 graduates of the LMU Carter and Moyers School of Education’s Education Specialist (EdS) degree program will also be participating in the ceremony. In July, 809 students completed the EdS program.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

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