"Federal judge lambastes amendment to rename confederate bases as 'madness'/Gets thoroughly bodied by clerk."

Headline at The Intercept.

The judge is Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit.
Silberman [wrote]... that his great-grandfather had fought for the Union as part of Ulysses S. Grant’s army and was badly wounded at Shiloh, Tennessee. His great-grandfather’s brother, meanwhile, joined the Confederate States Army and was captured at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “It’s important to remember that Lincoln did not fight the war to free the Slaves Indeed he was willing to put up with slavery if the Confederate States Returned,” he wrote (lack of punctuation and errant capitalization in the original, and throughout). “My great great grandfather Never owned slaves as best I can tell.”
From the clerk's pushback:
[M]y maternal ancestors were enslaved in Mississippi.... [M]y ancestors would not have been involved in the philosophical and political debates about Lincoln’s true intentions, or his view on racial equality.... [Y]ou talked about your ancestors, one that fought for the confederacy and one that fought for the Union.... [N]o matter how bravely your uncle fought for the Confederacy, the foundation of his fight was a decision that he agreed more with the ideals of the Confederacy, than he did with those of the Union.
Silberman, a Reagan appointee, is 84 years old. Giving him the Medal of Freedom in 2008, President George W. Bush said:
Few men have played roles in as many memorable moments in recent American history as Laurence Silberman. He was a senior official in the Justice Department in the aftermath of Watergate, and helped to restore America's confidence in the Department. As Ambassador to Yugoslavia, he was a vigorous representative of America's values behind the Iron Curtain. He was a fierce advocate for the "peace through strength" policies that helped win the Cold War.

As a federal judge on the D.C. circuit -- often called the second-highest court in the land -- Judge Silberman has been a passionate defender of judicial restraint. He writes opinions that one colleague has described as always cutting to the heart of the matter -- sometimes to the jugular. (Laughter.) His questioning is crisp and incisive -- and at least one lawyer who was subjected to his inquiries actually fainted. (Laughter.) Judge Silberman was a particularly important influence on two other members of that court: Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. When each was nominated to the Supreme Court, Judge Silberman, in typical fashion, was not sad to see them go. That's because when Scalia left the court, Judge Silberman gained seniority. And when Thomas left the court, Judge Silberman gained his furniture. (Laughter.)

In a new and dangerous era for our country, Larry Silberman has continued to answer the call to service. He served with distinction on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. He took a year off from the federal bench to serve as co-chairman of a bipartisan commission on intelligence reform. And in all his work, he's remained a clear-eyed guardian of the Constitution. He continues to leave his distinctive mark in the opinions he issues, and the generations of bright and talented lawyers he has trained.

For his resolute service to the nation and his stalwart efforts to advance the cause of ordered liberty, I am proud to bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Laurence H. Silberman. (Applause.)

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