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Conservatives Warn About Obama Judicial Nominee

By Jim Meyers   |   Friday, 20 Mar 2009 01:44 PM

A group of prominent conservatives, including former Attorney General Ed Meese, has issued a statement expressing their opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Obama's nomination of Hamilton to the 7th Circuit “represents a choice based on the merits of political ideology instead of competence and impartiality,” the statement begins.

“Hamilton, Obama's first judicial nominee, has none of the judicial expertise or experience required, but all of the ties to left-wing special interest groups and a record of activist rulings reflecting his personal views that only a liberal ideologue could hope for.”

In addition to Meese, the signatories are former Rep. David McIntosh of Indiana; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; T.K. Cribb, former counselor to the Attorney General; and Alfred Regnery, publisher of The American Spectator.

They accuse Hamilton — who is currently Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana — of having an “expressed (and demonstrated) commitment to an extreme political agenda,” and state:

“As a judge, Hamilton has shown himself to be soft on crime, radically pro-abortion, and hostile towards religion. With such a liberal activist record unmarked by significant experience, Judge Hamilton is clearly a bad and politically motivated appellate nominee.”

The signatories cite a number of points in calling for the Senate to reject his nomination:

  • In 1994, when President Bill Clinton nominated Hamilton to the U.S. District Court, the American Bar Association rated him as “not qualified.”

  • Hamilton ruled that prayers to Jesus Christ offered at the beginning of legislative sessions in the Indiana House of Representatives violated the Constitution, but that prayers to Allah did not.

  • Hamilton, a former ACLU leader and fund-raiser for the liberal activist group ACORN, “for years used his judicial office to fight a popular Indiana law designed to reduce the number of abortions. That reasonable, common-sense law required information and a waiting period before an abortion and Judge Hamilton invalidated it despite Supreme Court precedent supporting it.”

  • He also invalidated a law designed to protect children from sexual predators, and ruled that a drug-sniffing dog is comparable to using a thermal imaging device to look into houses.

    The statement concludes: “Given Hamilton's lack of qualifications and clear record of liberal ideology, the Senate should reject his nomination. President Obama's choice of Hamilton flies in the face of the desire of the vast majority of Americans for credentialed and impartial judges, and the Senate should vote accordingly.”

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