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Obama's First Judicial Nominee Defines Judicial Activism

by Staff
April 3, 2009
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WASHINGTON, ( -- President Obama's first judicial nominee, David Hamilton, nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal, is a clear example of what a judge should not be.

Judge Hamilton was the infamous activist judge who in 2005 ordered the Speaker of the Indiana House to immediately stop the practice of "sectarian prayers" at the opening of the legislative session. Apparently the prayers were too Christian for Mr. Hamilton. "[T]hey should refrain from using Christ's name or title," he ordered.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where he is to serve if President Obama has his way, eventually overturned his foolish decision.

Hamilton also issued a series of rulings over seven years that prevented Indiana from enforcing its informed-consent law requiring abortionists to inform women about the risks of abortion. The Indiana law was identical to the Pennsylvania statute that the Supreme Court upheld in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. But Judge Hamilton seems to have little concern for the law or precedent, and in a classic case of judicial activism, struck down the law claiming it imposed an "undue burden" on a woman's ability to obtain an abortion.

Again, his stubborn and dangerous ruling was reversed on appeal to the Seventh Circuit, where the court strongly criticized his decision, calling it an "abuse of discretion."

Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Wendy Wright said, "David Hamilton proved the liberal American Bar Association correct when they rated him as 'not qualified' for his current post. Hamilton's decisions reveal a deep disrespect for the Constitution and overinflated view of his own opinion. Senators would be derelict in their duties if they vote to promote him to do further damage to religious freedom and justice."

Mario Diaz, Esq., CWA's Policy Director for Legal Issues, said, "Judge Hamilton's record shows he has a dangerous understanding of the role of a judge and of the Founders' intent when enacting the First Amendment. Few things could violate Judge Hamilton's supposed 'separation of church and state' more than the state (i.e. Judge Hamilton) telling people they cannot pray in the name of Jesus. It seems Judge Hamilton would use the law as a tool to steer the country in the direction he believes it should go. That is not the role of a judge."

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.

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