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March 18, 2009

Obama's First Judicial Pick is No Moderate

President Obama has nominated U.S. District Court Judge David Hamilton for the vacancy in the Seventh Circuit. The media immediately lauded the pick as "moderate." They must have been reading that off of JournoList, because he is no moderate.

He was a fundraiser for ACORN and vice president for litigation at the Indiana ACLU, where he also was a board member, before becoming a judge. There's the time (a mere seven years) he held up an abortion waiting period and was firmly rapped by the Circuit he is nominated to join:

For seven years Indiana has been prevented from enforcing a statute materially identical to a law held valid by the Supreme Court in Casey, by this court in Karlin, and by the fifth circuit in Barnes. No court anywhere in the country (other than one district judge in Indiana [i.e., Hamilton]) has held any similar law invalid in the years since Casey. Although Salerno does not foreclose all pre-enforcement challenges to abortion laws, it is an abuse of discretion for a district judge to issue a pre-enforcement injunction while the effects of the law (and reasons for those effects) are open to debate.

And then there's the time he ruled that Indiana legislators could not begin their sessions with an "overtly Christian" prayer. This is part of an ongoing Lefty assault on the idea that standing requires more than a speculative injury. He was, again, overruled by the Seventh Circuit (PDF) because the people in whose name the American Civil Liberties Union had brought the suit lacked standing. They couldn't show that they had been injured by the praying.

Other infamous rulings now coming to light include a recent decision that police use of drug-sniffing dogs outside of a residence without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation. He declared unconstitutional (under the U.S. constitution) an Indiana constitutional amendment requiring the registration of convicted sex offenders.

This is not a moderate judge. If he joins the Seventh Circuit we can expect more of the same radical rulings on constitutional issues like standing, abortion, and Christianity he made as a district court judge.

By the way: For you guys who blog or send tips our way, I found that top link up there through Twitter. It's becoming quite a resource.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 08:42 AM

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