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Senate set to vote on activist judge David Hamilton today

The confirmation of Judge David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals would be another step away from common ground by the President and the Democratic Senate. As a District Court Judge, his decisions are subject to review by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and they reversed him often.

The Court of Appeals ruled Judge Hamilton abused his judicial discretion in obstructing the right of the people of Indiana to enact constitutional pro-life legislation. For seven years, through a series of rulings in A Woman’s Choice v. Newman, 904 F. Supp. 1434 (S.D. Ind. 1995), he blocked the enforcement of Indiana’s informed consent law. Reversing Judge Hamilton’s rulings, the Court of Appeals noted the law was “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.” Judge Hamilton ignored clear precedent. He tied up the court system and wasted the citizens of Indiana’s financial resources requiring them to defend a constitutional law.

In his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Hamilton affirmed his embrace of judicial activism. While Justice Sotomayor rejected the empathy standard during her confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, Judge Hamilton used his hearing as an opportunity to reiterate his belief that empathy is “important” in fulfilling the judge’s oath of office. However, empathy for one litigant is injustice to another, for it violates the judge’s obligation to refrain from taking sides in a dispute.

Judge Hamilton’s record and commitment to continue legislating from the bench not only do not warrant a promotion, but warn against it.

Americans United for Life has sent a letter to Senate members expressing our deep concern about a confirmation of Judge David Hamilton to the Court of Appeals.