MEMO FOR THE MOVEMENT:
Senate Should Reject Nomination of David Hamilton to Seventh Circuit
RE: Judge David Hamilton’s nomination to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate may consider this controversial nomination in the near future. Judge Hamilton fails to meet the qualifications for the high office to which he has been nominated, and his record demonstrates that he would decide cases on the basis of his politics and personal agenda instead of the Constitution.
ACTION: We agree with Senator Sessions (see attached letter) that indeed this is one of those extraordinary circumstances where the President should be informed that his nominee is not qualified. “Extraordinary circumstances” is the standard agreed to by the bipartisan Gang of 14 for when it is permissible to block a confirmation vote against judicial nominees. The Senate should apply it now to stop the Hamilton nomination.
ISSUE: When President Clinton nominated David Hamilton to the district court, he was rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. His experience leading the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and fund raiser for ACORN was not enough to qualify him for the lower court and nothing in his record on that court suggests he is qualified for a promotion.
· Judge Hamilton is an ideologue first and a jurist second. His rulings reflect his work for the ACLU and ACORN, and his rulings on the District Court often reflect his bias toward extreme leftist ideology. If anything, Judge Hamilton’s record has confirmed fears that he would be a liberal judicial activist who would impose his radical ACLU-inspired agenda from the bench.
· Judge Hamilton suppressed religious freedom: He expressed a bizarre hostility to religious speech by ruling that prayers to Jesus Christ offered at the beginning of legislative sessions violate the Constitution, but that prayers to Allah do not. In 1994 he denied a Rabbi’s plea to allow a Menorah to be part of the Indianapolis Municipal Building’s holiday display. In both cases the Seventh Circuit reversed Hamilton.
· Judge Hamilton’s ruling in criminal cases indicates that he attempts to find ways to be as lenient as possible in sentencing. In one case, where he was unanimously reversed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Hamilton disregarded a defendant’s prior conviction for a felony drug offense in order to avoid imposing a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment for persons convicted of a third felony drug offense.
· Judge Hamilton protected child predators: In one particularly troubling case, Judge Hamilton invalidated a common-sense law that would have required convicted sex offenders to provide information so that law enforcement could track their activity, thereby making it easier for child predators to move around and endanger children in Indiana. In another, Judge Hamilton urged the President to grant clemency for a police officer who had pled guilty to producing child pornography by videotaping and photographing sexual activity with two teenage girls.
· Judge Hamilton consistently sided with abortion-on-demand absolutists: Over a period of seven years, Judge Hamilton used his judicial role to wage a campaign against reasonable measures to reduce abortions, repeatedly ruling against a popular Indiana law requiring information and a waiting period before an abortion.
Judge Hamilton was asked recently if he would adopt President Obama’s so-called “empathy standard” – which says a judge should look beyond the law and the Constitution to favor certain parties over others. Judge Hamilton said he agreed and that empathy “is important in fulfilling that [judicial] oath.” Given his record of legislating from the bench, we are not surprised that Judge Hamilton would reject impartiality in favor of that lawless standard.
Judge Hamilton is precisely the kind of liberal judicial activist who would use our federal courts as his own super-legislature. The Senate should vote no on the cloture vote to stop this nomination.
CONSERVATIVE ACTION PROJECT
Marion Edwyn Harrison, President, Free Congress Foundation
Edwin Meese, former Attorney General
Mathew D. Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
Cleta Mitchell, American Conservative Union Board of Directors
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Visiting Professor, Liberty University School of Law
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
Curt Levey, Executive Director, Committee for Justice
Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Kay Daly, President, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
T. Kenneth Cribb, former Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General
Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values
Jim Martin, President, 60 Plus Association
David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana
Tom Winter, Editor in Chief, Human Events
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator
Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy
Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON JUDGE DAVID HAMILTON PLEASE VISIT THESE WEBSITES:
(All organizations listed are for identification purposes only)