Sunday, November 15, 2009

Senate Pushes Anti-christian Judge Confirmation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced his plans to move forward as early as Monday with a confirmation vote on the pro-abortion appeals court nominee who ruled against praying "in Jesus' name" on the floor of the Indiana Legislature.

-- From "Conservatives Oppose Judicial Nominee" by Kate Phillips, New York Times 11/12/09

Conservative groups have been rallying their troops to urge senators to oppose the nomination of Judge David F. Hamilton of Indiana to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

As recently as Thursday morning, Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, labeled Judge Hamilton as too liberal during a speech before the Federalist Society. Advocates and supporters of Judge Hamilton have also jumped into the fray.

The moves afoot followed a decision by the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, to file a procedural motion on Tuesday night that will likely force a vote early next week that will require the support of 60 members to push the nomination forward.

The two Hamilton decisions most often cited by critics are one that struck down the use of Christian prayer by Indiana state lawmakers, and another that struck down a segment of a state law requiring informed consent and a waiting period for women seeking abortions.

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From "Reid speeds confirmation of anti-Jesus, pro-abortion judge" by Chelsea Schilling © 2009 WorldNetDaily 11/12/09

Republicans have attempted to block a vote on Hamilton's nomination. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., called for a filibuster in April and May. Sessions recently sent a letter to several Republican legislators in opposition to Hamilton, warning that in more than a few instances, he "has used his position as a district court judge to drive a political agenda."

Sessions said Hamilton declared in a 2003 speech that a judge's primary job is "write footnotes in the Constitution" and said he believes "empathy" should sway a judge's decisions.

"This view evidences an activist judicial philosophy," Sessions warned. "Judges are not given the power to amend the Constitution or write footnotes to it."

Also, in 2003, Hamilton struck down an Indiana informed consent law requiring women to receive information about risks and alternatives to abortion in the presence of a physician or nurse 18 hours before the procedure. Hamilton said the provision imposed an "undue burden" on women. His ruling was later dismissed by a panel of the 7th Circuit after appeal.

"In reversing, the 7th Circuit noted that Judge Hamilton had abused his judicial discretion," Sessions wrote.

Hamilton made yet another controversial ruling in the 2005 case Hinrichs v. Bosma. He ruled that the speaker of Indiana's House of Representatives could not allow "sectarian" prayers as part of its official proceedings. He said prayers that use "Christ's name or title" are sectarian, but he ruled in a post-judgment motion that it's not sectarian for a Muslim imam to offer a prayer to "Allah."

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