President Bush used a special presidential prerogative January 16 to get one of his most controversial judicial nominees installed, temporarily, on a federal appeals panel. Just days before Congress returned from its holiday recess to resume its legislative work, Bush used a “recess appointment” to get Charles Pickering installed as a judge on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appointment took advantage of powers Bush has to install members of his administration whose nomination would normally require Congress’s consent. Pickering will be in office for a year but would have to be confirmed by the next Congress. Senate Democrats had filibustered against Pickering’s nomination last year on the urging of several civil-rights, abortion-rights and church-state watchdog groups. Pickering is a member of the First Baptist Church of Laurel, Mississippi, and a former two-term president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention.