Senate Allows Vote on Nomination of Pro-Abortion Obama Judge David Hamilton

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

Senate Allows Vote on Nomination of Pro-Abortion Obama Judge David Hamilton

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Senate successfully ended debate on President Barack Obama’s first pro-abortion judge, appeals court nominee David Hamilton. On a 70-29 vote, lawmakers voted to stop debate and allow a vote on his confirmation and they are expected to complete the voting process on Wednesday.

David Hamilton was tapped by Obama in March to fill a vacancy on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

As he promised he would do, pro-life Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama led the filibuster and said Hamilton should be opposed in part because of his pro-abortion views.

Sessions noted how Hamilton kept an informed consent measure from being enforced in Indiana, thereby prohibiting women from getting information about abortion’s risks and alternatives so they can find positive alternatives.

"And for seven years, through a series of rulings, Hamilton kept it form being enforced. This case is a blatant example of allowing personal views to frustrate the will of the people and the popularly elected representatives of the government of Indiana," Sessions said. "This appeared to me to be obstructionism."

Sen. Jim DeMint, a pro-life senator from South Carolina, agreed.

“Judge Hamilton is the definition of an activist judge and is clearly not qualified to sit on a court of appeals," DeMint said during the debate. "Hamilton, who spent years working with the ACLU and ACORN, has used his position on the bench to drive his personal political agenda."

The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List objected to Hamilton and said it worries about future Obama nominees.

"If Judge David Hamilton is considered a blueprint for the next judge President Obama will nominate for the U.S. Supreme Court, America is in trouble," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the organization, told

"Hamilton’s record of abortion-friendly judicial activism has been rejected more than once by the 7th Circuit, which handily reversed several of his rulings," she pointed out. "Now Hamilton has been nominated to the very court which admonished his ‘abuse of discretion’ in delaying implementation of Indiana’s commonsense informed consent law."

"Women and unborn children deserve access to protections like informed consent without pro-abortion activist judges standing in their way," she said.

For seven years on the bench as a federal district judge, Hamilton prevented the implementation of Indiana’s informed consent law, a measure enacted by the Indiana state legislature in line with precedent set by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The law established that at least 18 hours before an abortion, abortion practitioners must explain the risks and alternatives to abortion, as well as offer women the opportunity to see an ultrasound picture of their child and hear the infant’s heartbeat.

In it’s reversal of Hamilton’s ruling, the 7th Circuit Court issued a statement chiding Hamilton for delaying implementation of 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."

"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."

In June, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve Hamilton with Democrats voting yes and Republicans no.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, to which Hamilton has been nominated, handles cases involving pro-life issues from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

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: Call 202-224-3121 to tell your senators your thoughts on how they voted on the cloture vote. Results of that vote appear here.

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