Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Barry's first judicial pick

The man promised moderate, middle of the road judges. Chalk this up as yet another promise broken by Barry. (Memo to his supporters: How could you people be this gullible and ignorant?) He's chosen his first judicial nominee, and there's a reason to be a tad concerned about this because there's one group jumping up and down over him. His name is David Hamilton, and the People For The American Way are loving him. Why? Well for starters, he's a former ACLU hack lawyer, but the WaPo goes into greater detail why the Left loves him and why our side is going to loathe him:

President Obama yesterday made his first judicial appointment, naming U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton to the federal appeals court, a choice excoriated by some conservatives even as the White House touted him as the type of moderate who could cool the nation's long-simmering judicial battles.

The White House held out Hamilton as a prototype for the nominees Obama will seek as he reshapes the federal appeals courts -- and by extension, the laws governing contentious social issues such as abortion and affirmative action -- during his presidency. Currently, there are 17 vacancies on the nation's appeals courts, which are organized into 12 circuits across the country.

Meanwhile, with the oldest Supreme Court justice 89 and three others older than 70, it is widely expected that Obama will fill one -- if not more -- high court vacancies during his tenure.

Obama named Hamilton, 51, to a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, a choice administration officials said signals his intention to pick judicial moderates with diverse résumés and a record of what he considers good judgment and "empathy" for the people involved in cases before the courts.

I don't want judges that feel empathy, and neither should any of you. We should want judges that rule by the letter of the law, not how they feel, or how anyone else feels. What they feel, what we feel, is utterly irrelevant. But this is Barry we're talking about here, and he "feels your pain." The WaPo continues:

President Bill Clinton appointed Hamilton to the district court in Indianapolis in 1994, and he was elevated to chief judge last year. Hamilton's legal background, moderate profile and varied experience make him "precisely the kind of person that President Obama wants on the federal appellate bench," said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity before the president's announcement.

Hamilton has been involved in several controversial cases. In 2005, he ruled that the daily invocation of the Indiana House too often referred to Jesus Christ and a Christian god, in violation of the Constitution, which forbids the government to show preference for any religious denomination. The decision was overturned on appeal on technical grounds.

In 2003, Hamilton struck down part of an Indiana law requiring abortion clinics to give women information about alternatives to abortion in the presence of a physician or nurse. The information had to be given to women 18 hours before the procedure, requiring them to make two visits to the doctor's office to obtain the procedure. That decision was also overturned on appeal. ...

The Judicial Confirmation Network, a group that supports conservative judicial nominees, painted Hamilton as a liberal whom the Obama administration was attempting to disguise as a moderate. Pointing to what the White House says was Hamilton's work raising contributions door-to-door for the advocacy group ACORN for one month after college, and his work on the board of the ACLU, the JCN called Hamilton "an ultra-liberal."

Oh yeah. This guy's a gem, and he fits right in with Barry's mold of how he's running his administration. From tax-cheats to lobbyists to ACORN volunteers to Chicago Machine thugs, we've got the finest White House ever, right? Wrong. Hamilton is a an uber-liberal jurist. For a little more research into him, I turned to Confirm Them where Feddie says this guy isn't a moderate at all, and the guys at Bench Memos. Needless to say the crew at Bench Memos are hardly jumping up and down for this guy. In fact, they're warning exactly the opposite, and Ed Whelan got right to the point about how controversial this pick is:

In an article headlined “Moderate Is Said to Be Pick for Court,” the New York Times reports that President Obama’s first nominee to a federal appellate court seat is expected to be David F. Hamilton. Hamilton, appointed by President Clinton to a district judgeship in Indiana in 1994 (despite the ABA’s “not qualified” rating), is expected to be named to the Seventh Circuit.

It’s far from clear what justifies the article’s characterization of Hamilton as a “moderate” (or, as the article oddly puts it, as “represent[ing] some of his state’s traditionally moderate strain”—how does one represent some of a strain?). Was it perhaps Hamilton’s service as vice president for litigation, and as a board member of the Indiana branch of the ACLU? Or maybe Hamilton’s extraordinary seven-year-long series of rulings obstructing Indiana’s implementation of its law providing for informed consent on abortion? That obstruction elicited this strong statement (emphasis added) from the Seventh Circuit panel majority that overturned Hamilton:

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. Although Salerno does not foreclose all pre-enforcement challenges to abortion laws, it 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.

Or perhaps Hamilton’s inventive invocation of substantive due process to suppress evidence of a criminal defendant’s possession of cocaine, a ruling that, alas, was unanimously reversed by the Seventh Circuit?

With “moderates” like Hamilton, imagine what Obama’s “liberal” nominees will look like.

His liberal ones will look a lot like Hamilton because that's what Hamilton is. He's an uber-liberal, pro-abortion, pro-defendant piece of garbage that the ABA stated was unqualified to sit on the bench. Given the amount of rulings he's handed down that have been reversed, one can see why the ABA gave him those marks.

But let's remember that elections have consequences. Bush had his shot at picking judges, and now it's Barry's turn. It's his prerogative to pick whomever he chooses to sit on the appellate courts and, God forbid, the Supreme Court. (Though I would like to note that any high court picks will not be reversing the make-up of the court unless that pick is replacing Justice Kennedy who is, right now, the swing vote on the court.) This is within his right to make such choices.

Our gripe comes in the fact that he's lying to people as to who this man is. He's anything but a moderate, but his sheeple lemming followers don't have a clue. Most of them don't even have the foggiest notion how such a pick is actually chosen, and what "judicial philosophy" means. So they're going to be out there cheering for a man they don't know a damn thing about. And idiots like Senator Richard Lugar, who is cited in the WaPo piece, has already jumped on the Hamilton bandwagon before this hack jurist is put through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Transparency, Mr. President? You haven't been transparent on one damn issue since you took the oath of office, and the Hamilton nomination is yet another of your smoke-and-mirrors tricks that you idiot supporters will laud, and we will fight.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Over at AoSHQ Gabriel has some interesting tidbits on this goofball, including this:

Other infamous rulings now coming to light include a recent decision that police use of drug-sniffing dogs outside of a residence without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation. He declared unconstitutional (under the U.S. Constitution) an Indiana constitutional amendment requiring the registration of convicted sex offenders.

Oh yeah. I can just feel the hope and change coming up, folks. It's change you can gag on.

Publius II


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