President Bush Renominates Pro-Life Appeals Court Candidate Claude Allen

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 22, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Renominates Pro-Life Appeals Court Candidate Claude Allen

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 22, 2004

Washington, DC ( — President Bush has renominated Claude Allen, a pro-life advocate, to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Allen, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, is known for his strong support of abstinence education.

As HHS deputy secretary, Allen has supported doubling federal funding for abstinence-only education and has said that encouraging teenagers to abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage is the best way to prevent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Allen was also the Virginia secretary of health and human resources under Gov. Jim Gilmore. In that position he opposed using federal tax money to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

While in Virginia, Allen also earned praise from the pro-life community when he went to court to prevent Michele Finn from having her husband, Hugh Finn, disconnected from his feeding tube, in a case similar to that of Terri Schiavo.

Allen’s nomination was sent back to the White House when the Senate adjourned at the end of last year.

Pro-abortion Senate Democrats have promised to filibuster Allen’s nomination, when it comes to the Senate floor for debate. They are prompted by opposition to Allen’s nomination by leading pro-abortion groups such as NARAL, the National Abortion Federation, and the National Organization for Women.

Also, pro-abortion Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes (D) and Barbara A. Mikulski (D) object to giving Allen the lifetime appointment, because they say the open court seat has traditionally been filled with a Maryland resident.

Erin Healy, a White House spokesperson, said, "Allen is well-qualified. He has extensive legal experience in the state and federal government."

The 4th Circuit hears appeals from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia and would have jurisdiction over cases involving pro-life legislation from those states.