Senate Republicans Block Obama Pro-Abortion Judicial Nominee Edward Chen

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 29, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Republicans Block Obama Pro-Abortion Judicial Nominee Edward Chen

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 29
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Senate Republicans have blocked yet another Obama pro-abortion judicial nominee, and this time it is Edward Chen. President Barack Obama nominated the U.S. Magistrate for a federal judgeship in San Francisco. Chen is a former attorney for the pro-abortion legal group ACLU.

The Senate sent Chen’s name back to the White House last week because Republicans have filibustered his nomination and Democrats apparently don’t have the 60 votes needed to confirm him.

In August, Obama appointed Chen to the lifetime judicial post as a federal district court judge.

He has come under criticism because he was employed as an ACLU attorney in San Francisco for decades.

The Senate Judiciary Committee signed off on Chen’s nomination in October on a 12-7 party-line vote. Since then, Republicans have put a hold on his nomination and several other abortion advocates and other controversial nominees.

Sending back Chen’s name to the White House doesn’t mean his nomination has been rejected but it gives Obama a chance to determine whether or not to renominate him or give him a recess appointment that would be effective for one year only. If Obama renominates Chen, he would be required to undergo another vote on the judicial panel.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a pro-abortion California Democrat, told the San Francisco Chronicle she is unhappy the pro-abortion nominee has been held up in the Senate.

"My hope is that the president will renominate Ed Chen and we will be able to move his candidacy," Feinstein said, adding that he has a "pristine record."

Should he be approved, Chen would become the first Asian-American judge to sit in the Northern District of California, which stretches from Northern District of California

But conservative columnist Warner Todd Huston says Chen is out of the mainstream.

"Well, for one, the left-wing American Bar Association rated Chen a ‘well qualified’ nominee and many of his associates at the ACLU speak highly of him," he said. "Chen was quite the ACLU activist between 1979 and 2001. His ACLU history would suffice to make many wary of him, of course."

Huston also said Chen would be a judge in the activist mold of those who allowed virtually unlimited abortions under Roe v. Wade.

"Now, what of his judicial standards? What sort of philosophy does Chen employ on the bench? Is it a strict standard of reading at law, or is he one of those sorts of judicial activists that uses the law to spread his own particular philosophy of social justice? Sadly, it appears to be the latter," he writes.

"For Obama’s judges, experiences and feelings trump the Constitution and the law and these experiences and feelings should be used as a basis to adjudicate the cases that come before them," Huston concludes.

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