Appeals Court Judge Ann Williams Makes Obama’s Short List for Supreme Court
by Steven Ertelt
April 21, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — White House officials confirmed today that President Barack Obama has added another name to the list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Judge Ann Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has been added to the list of about 10 people up for consideration.
Obama will pick the replacement for retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens, who is part of the five-member majority keeping Roe v. Wade and its 52 million abortions in place.
Williams, the first black judge on the appeals court, was considered last year when Obama went with pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
She would make an interesting choice because pro-life President Ronald Reagan first named her as a federal district judge in the Northern District of Illinois after serving as a an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago for nine years.
However, in 2005, the liberal group Alliance for Justice, citing Reagan’s appointment of Williams, suggested her as a potential replacement for pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Former Chicago U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas told Bloomberg News last year, If you are looking to have a Supreme Court justice who is both intellectually astute and has enormous life experience which will help shape her judgment, you could not do better than Ann Williams."
However, pro-life advocates will want to know where she stands on abortion and little is known and one of her decisions will likely cause problems.
The Bush administration attempted to subpoena the medical records of women who had partial-birth abortions at a Chicago hospital in its efforts to defend the national partial-birth abortion ban in court — that the Supreme Court eventually upheld.
A Chicago judge quashed the subpoena preventing Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and the University of Michigan medical center from having to divulge the information.
U.S. Chief District Judge Charles Kocoras wrote a 16-page opinion citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Illinois medical privacy law as reasons why the information couldn’t be divulged.
In a 2-1 ruling, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed and Williams joined Judge Richard A. Posner in the majority.
Judge Daniel A. Manion dissented saying the government should get the records, in part because removing the women’s names and other identifying information would eliminate any privacy concern on the part of the abortion patients.
Although the subject is unrelated, another decision could cause some concern for Williams.
In 2006, Williams wrote an opinion striking down an Illinois law prohibiting the sale of sexually explicit video games to minors saying it was too broad — a reason typically given for invalidating pro-life laws. She claimed the state did not have a compelling interest in shielding children from sexually explicit material.
Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Judges Diane Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Merrick Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the District Circuit are considered leading candidates.
Judges Sidney Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Ann Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Georgia Supreme Court are other potential nominees.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who backs abortion and Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School, and Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court are other potential replacements for Stevens.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.