Senate Judiciary Committee OKs Pro-Abortion Obama Judge David Hamilton

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Judiciary Committee OKs Pro-Abortion Obama Judge David Hamilton

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 4
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted along party lines to approve President Barack Obama’s first pro-abortion judicial nominee. With Democrats voting yes and Republicans no, the panel sent appeals court nominee David Hamilton to the full Senate for consideration.

Obama selected Hamilton, a federal judge from Indiana, for a position on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. It handles cases involving pro-life issues from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

He has upset pro-life advocates with his pro-abortion decisions, including a series of rulings over seven years that prevented Indiana from implementing its informed consent law that would give women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, a pro-life Alabama lawmaker who is the top Republican on the committee, said he was "troubled by the nominees that we’ve seen to date."

"Nominees do have the potential, if they’re activists, to promote political agendas, often times agendas that can’t be won at the ballot box or passed by Congress," he said.

"There are a number of other issues that indicate to me that this judge is not committed to following the law and more willing to allow his personal views to impact the decision-making process," Sessions added, according to a Gannett News report.

In the full Senate, Hamilton is expected to get enough votes for his nomination to be approved, but he may have to overcome a filibuster by pro-life Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican.

Sessions has said in the past that he may support a filibuster.

Hamilton has the backing of Indiana’s Republican senator, Dick Lugar, and will get the support of a handful of pro-abortion Republicans. The only Democrats likely to oppose Hamilton would be pro-life Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who sometimes votes pro-life.

Hamilton found his decision against the Indiana informed consent law overturned by the appeals court where he may serve.

In fact, the 7th Circuit Court issued a statement chiding him for holding up the law.

"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," the appeals judges wrote in their decision.

"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," they added. "[I]t 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."

Although President Obama claims to want to reduce abortions, his appellate court pick prevented a law from going into effect that has been proven to reduce abortions when put in place in other states.

A coalition of pro-life groups sent a letter to members of the Senate urging them to oppose the nomination.

The letter, signed by leaders with Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel and Focus on the Family Action, cites the decision as a reason to oppose Hamilton.

"Hamilton issued a series of rulings over seven years that prevented the state of Indiana from enforcing its informed-consent law requiring abortionists to inform women about the risks of the abortion procedure," the groups say.

"The law was identical to the Pennsylvania statute that the United States Supreme Court upheld in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Judge Hamilton, however, 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," they add.

Prior to becoming a federal judge, Hamilton was the vice president for litigation and a board member of the Indiana branch of the ACLU, a top pro-abortion law firm.

Hamilton was initially appointed by President Clinton to a district judgeship in Indiana in 1994 even though the ABA gave him a “not qualified” rating.

ACTION: Contact your members of the Senate and express your opposition to Hamilton’s nomination. You can find contact information for any senator at

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