President Obama Brings Back Pro-Abortion American Bar Association Reviews

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Obama Brings Back Pro-Abortion American Bar Association Reviews

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama announced his first judicial nominee on Tuesday, but putting forward Judge David Hamilton wasn’t his only pro-abortion decision. Obama is also bringing back the judicial reviews from the American Bar Association, the attorneys group that takes a pro-abortion position.

Because the group had become so politicized, President Bush dispensed with the practice of having the ABA officially weigh in on any nominees to federal courts.

Abortion advocates found the decision rebarbative even though the ABA would provide slanted reviews that favored pro-abortion nominees over judicial prospects who showed legal restraint from the bench.

ABA President Thomas Wells Jr. confirmed the change today and praised the work of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

“The Standing Committee makes a unique contribution to the process by conducting an extensive peer review of each potential nominee’s integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament,” he said.

“The Standing Committee does not consider a potential nominee’s ideological or political philosophy,” Wells claimed. “Its work is fully insulated from, and completely independent of, all other activities of the ABA, and is not influenced by ABA policies"

The committee advanced Hamilton’s name and, ironically, unanimously gave him a “well-qualified” rating for Obama to select him for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Yet, when President Clinton nominated him to the federal bench, a majority of the committee’s members at the time rated him “not qualified."

The discrepancy causes even more pause for critics of having the ABA influence the president’s judicial decision-making process.

At its 2004 annual meeting, the ABA issued a statement supporting so-called therapeutic cloning — the creation and destruction of human life for research purposes. It adopted the therapeutic cloning position in August 2002, when it voted to oppose complete bans on human cloning.

"Once again, the ABA has decided to choose sides in a public debate of profound moral and social consequence," said Cathleen Cleaver, who was the spokeswoman for the Catholic bishops at the time of the vote. "And it has once again positioned itself against life."

"This is why so many Americans are coming to see the ABA more as a politicized lobby group than as a professional legal association," added Cleaver.

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