Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
It was only a matter of time before President Barack Obama was going to start to nominate pro-abortion judges.
Here’s the first one: Former ACLU lawyer David Hamilton.
Obama has nominated Hamilton, who currently sits as a district judge in Indiana, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, based in Chicago.
The New York Times characterizes Hamilton, who was appointed a judge by Bill Clinton in 1994, as a “moderate.”
Here’s what Ed Whelan has to say about that characterization in a post at the “Bench Memos” section of National Review Online:
“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?),” writes Whelan. “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.
Continues Whelan, “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.”