The Spectacle Blog

Leading Conservatives Oppose Hamilton Nomination

By on 3.19.09 | 5:55PM

A group of prominent conservatives, including former Attorney General Ed Meese, has issued a statement opposing President Obama's nomination of David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The statement and signatories follow:

David Hamilton: Unqualified, Except for in Liberal Activism

Obama's First Judicial Nominee Reflects Preference of Ideology over Constitutionality

President Obama's nomination of David Hamilton to the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit represents a choice based on the merits of political ideology instead of competence and impartiality. 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.   

President Obama admitted on the campaign trail that he would select judges based not on their impartiality or understanding of the Constitution but on whether they “have life experience and they understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them,” and whether they have “the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.” He also promised, however, to usher in a new era of post-partisanship. Unfortunately that promise expired with his very first judicial pick, as he nominated Hamilton not on the basis of his commitment to the judicial oath but on the basis of expressed (and demonstrated) commitment to an extreme political agenda.

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.

Judge Hamilton is committed to an extreme political agenda.

·        Hamilton is a former ACLU leader who lent his legal skills to the far-left special interest group.

·        He was a fundraiser for the liberal activist group ACORN, the sponsor of the most comprehensive criminal voter fraud campaign in American history.  

Judge Hamilton’s experience as a political activist does not qualify him for a judicial office.

·        In 1994, when President Clinton nominated him to the district court, the ABA rated Hamilton as ‘not qualified,’ apparently because of his almost purely political (as opposed to legal and judicial) experience. There is nothing in his record as a judge that suggests he’s any more qualified now.

Judge Hamilton has a record of going out of his way to let criminals go free. 

·        He made it easier for child predators to move around in Indiana by invalidating a common-sense sex offender law designed to protect children from those same predators.

·        He has a record of helping criminal defendants by suppressing evidence and warrants that would help law enforcement keep streets and families safe. He once suppressed a warrant that had been issued after a child had revealed to a social worker that her mother had illegal drugs in their house. 

·        He took the extreme measure of ruling that a drug sniffing dog is comparable to using a thermal imaging device to look into houses.

Judge Hamilton is a typical abortion-on-demand absolutist. 

·        For years he 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. 

Judge Hamilton is hostile to the free exercise of religion.

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

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.

The statement was issued by:

Edwin Meese, former Attorney General

David McIntosh, former U.S. Representative from Indiana

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council

T.K. Cribb, former counselor to the Attorney General

Alfred S. Regnery, publisher of The American Spectator

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