The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

DEPT. OF JURISPRUDENCE

Obama Announces Nominee for Appeals Court

By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama today said he plans to nominate U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton to the federal appeals court, turning to a jurist widely viewed as a moderate for his first judicial appointment.

"Judge Hamilton has a long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions," Obama said in a statement. "He will be a thoughtful and distinguished addition to the 7th Circuit and I am extremely pleased to put him forward to serve the people of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin."

The White House held Hamilton out as a prototype for the nominees the president will be seeking as he remakes the federal judiciary.

Raised in southern Indiana, Hamilton attended Haverford College and Yale Law School, and won a Fulbright fellowship, before clerking on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also has worked as a general counsel to Sen. Evan Bayh (D), when Bayh was governor of Indiana, and has served as chair of the Indiana Ethics Commission. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the district court in Indianapolis in 1994, and he was elevated to chief judge last year.

Hamilton's legal scholarship, coupled with his varied experiences and his sense of "empathy" makes him "precisely the kind of person that President Obama wants on the federal appellate bench," said a senior administration official, who would speak only on background.

Hamilton is expected to attract bipartisan support, something the president will seek in an effort to "put the confirmation wars behind us," the official said.

In a White House statement, Indiana's Republican senator Richard Lugar has said he would back Hamilton during the Senate's confirmation process. "I enthusiastically support the Senate confirmation of David Hamilton for U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals," Lugar said.

The impending nomination also earned kudos from at least one liberal advocacy group that is often embroiled in battles over federal court nominations.

"David Hamilton is an ideal choice for this seat," said Kathryn Kolbert, president of People for the American Way. "Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a willingness to put principle ahead of politics and bring an open mind to every case."

Posted at 12:15 PM ET on Mar 17, 2009  | Category:  DEPT. OF JURISPRUDENCE
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: POTUS Events: Celebrating St. Patty's Day | Next: Obama Announces Rooney as Ambassador to Ireland


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Well the conservatives had their turn with the Bush appointees. Now it is our turn and I hope we get lots of opportunities. Does anyone think that President Obama is going to appoint any conservatives? If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in.

Posted by: Skye1er | March 18, 2009 2:20 PM

Not entirely, my friend. Most experts agree that Obama was elected DESPITE his very liberal record in Congress...

Obama had all of these factors in his favor:
1. Unpopular war(s) and the perception that the U.S. has become a warmongering, torturing, diplomacy-disregarding, isolationist state.

Posted by: RambleOn | March 17, 2009 5:01 PM


I double-dare you to back up your claim. Let me remind you that the public was fully aware of the democratic agenda and they voted to increase democratic seats in the house, the senate, governors's mansions, state congresses, with the white house as the coup de grace.

As if that weren't enough, polls show that a majority of Americans support universal healthcare, prefer democrats on the economy, 60 percent of Americans agree with ending restrictions on stem-cell research, 55 percent endorse either gay civil unions or same-sex marriage, and a majority still support the president's economic plan which is unmistakably progressive,etc...

Americans didn't just vote for the man, they sided with his and his party's agenda- check the polls.

How this country is center right, yet voted to push every level of government to the left is beyond me. Oh and this includes that "san francisco liberal."

Give me a break. Claiming this country is center right is like a defeated boxer claiming he's still the man or lost because he was constipated.

Again, I double-dare you to defend your position

Posted by: lagnappe | March 17, 2009 9:03 PM

All I need to know is that republicans have their panties all in bunch :)

Republicans call anyone who has ever had an original thought a liberal.

Got your beer hat? got your AK47? got your high school diploma (mostly)? Tuned into rush 'the drug addict' limpberger? Join the club, you're a moderate republican!!
A try conservative republican would have stone tablets ot the 12 commandments on his back - the usual 10, plus one on the dream of a republican balanced budget, an one demanding the rich white right of domination.

Posted by: stodayxx | March 17, 2009 8:15 PM

"Judge Hamilton struck down an amendment to Illinois law that would require registered sex offenders to notify authorities of their e-mail address and user names. In addition, the amendment would have allowed police to monitor their use of the Internet and search their personal computers at any time. Hamilton said, "the ability of the individual to retreat into his home and therefore to be free from unreasonable intrusion by the government stands at the very core."

Sex offenders ply their trade on-line all over the world. MSNBC had an entire series using a sting operation where sex predators pitched who they thought were teenaged girls to invite them into their homes for sex. They ended up on television and then were arrested as they left the sting house.
Sex offenders on parole are on a short leash. They must register, and live and stay away from schools and playgrounds. This ruling on its face seems to cut them too much slack and smacks of a Judge that is willing to overrule legislation that has a valid purpose. This is judicial activism. We will see how moderate this guy really is during confirmation hearings.

Posted by: mharwick | March 17, 2009 7:50 PM

Whether or not the guy is a moderate is almost beside the point. The real issue here is that the Post reporter/headline writer described him as such and left out very relevant features of his professional background that belie the label. It's a clearly biased headline as well as story. Whether or not the guy is a moderate is clearly a matter of opinion, which would need a more complete review of his record to decide. For this and so many other examples over the years, the Post deserves to go under. And it will probably will, eventually.

Posted by: markebo | March 17, 2009 7:10 PM

What does it mean to be a "moderate"? Or a "conservative"? Or a "liberal"? It is hard enough to define these amorphous terms in the political world, and applying them to judges is even crazier. The issue with respect to a judge is how he goes about making a decision and what approach he applies to the issue at hand. I used to publish some of Judge Hamilton's employment-discrimination decisions, and I recall his opinions as being carefully reasoned and appearing to be sensible. I have no idea what his ideological label will turn out to be, but I think that he is likely to be a good appellate judge.

Posted by: phillyreader | March 17, 2009 6:11 PM

Interesting how some people regard any viewpoint different from their own as anti-American (maybe they'd regard Fox News as unbiased). Too soon to tell how this judge will do. Article gave scant information on his opinions to date other than to use the term "moderate." It doesn't appear a whole lot of research went into this article.

Posted by: Sutter | March 17, 2009 5:16 PM

How can anyone who belongs to the radical anti-American organization known as the ACLU be a "moderate"?

Only a biased press would make such a statement.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | March 17, 2009 5:03 PM

For those whining about the so-called liberal bias of the WaPo, take a look at what the WSJ's Ashby Jones had to say about Judge Hamilton:

"Followers of the federal judiciary have been waiting eagerly for a sign, any sign, indicating what type of judge President Obama would look to in filling vacancies on the federal appellate courts. Finally, they have a name: David F. Hamilton, a trial court judge from Indiana known as a political moderate. ... So, is the pick of a political moderate a harbinger of things to come from the Obama administration?"

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/03/17/sizing-up-obamas-possible-first-appellate-court-pick-david-hamilton/

Yes, Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hamilton is a "moderate." But I wouldn't believe it. You know what a far-left liberal Murdoch is...

Posted by: cale1 | March 17, 2009 5:02 PM

I hope Obama realizes that what got him elected were his progressive points of view.

Posted by: ahopewell55 | March 17, 2009 4:27 PM
-----------
Not entirely, my friend. Most experts agree that Obama was elected DESPITE his very liberal record in Congress, as he was seen as someone who was an eloquent, moderate, post-partisan. That's how he was able to pick off independents and moderate Republicans to vote for him.

Obama had all of these factors in his favor:

1. Unpopular war(s) and the perception that the U.S. has become a warmongering, torturing, diplomacy-disregarding, isolationist state.

2. Weakening economy.

3. Record-level unpopularity with the Bush Administration (and many Republicans and libertarians will tell you Bush was not a traditional conservative).

4. The best opponent the Republicans can nominate is a 72-year old moderate/conservative/moderate who, while accomplished, has little if any charisma

So don't get too excited about that "mandate" for progressivism. Remember 70 million people did NOT vote for Obama, and this country is still a center-right nation. And you better watch that pendulum carefully, because Obama's poll numbers indicate the honeymoon is over (And I for one DO hope he succeeds).

But I don't get the importance on politicizing judicial nominees, and don't see how personal ideology matters. Just get the best legal minds in there.

Posted by: RambleOn | March 17, 2009 5:01 PM

Only to the left wing media could this joker be considered a moderate.

Posted by: rplat | March 17, 2009 4:53 PM

ever notice that only the crazies post comments on these articles? yikes! where are all the normal people?

Posted by: ashe1 | March 17, 2009 4:40 PM

I hope that when it comes time to replace the liberal members of the Supreme Court that Obama doesn't take the moderate approach. We need strong progressives to replace those vacancies that may occur. The court is already tilted right. I hope Obama realizes that what got him elected were his progressive points of view. The country doesn't need any more pro-conservative disguised center right view points. Time for the pendulum to swing in the other direction.

Posted by: ahopewell55 | March 17, 2009 4:27 PM

the one area where he should be liberal and he punts it.

Posted by: tru-indy | March 17, 2009 4:20 PM

He is a member of the ACLU and the People for the "American Way" support him? Doesn't sound like a moderate to me.

Posted by: BenLaGuer | March 17, 2009 4:14 PM

Cornell1984, then quit reading the Post, you stupid c0cksucking moron.

Posted by: wangbang747 | March 17, 2009 4:03 PM

Plenty of liberal nut jobs to follow I'm sure.

Change the rules to require a 2/3 majority vote in the Senate to confirm judges and we can then de-politicize the courts which is what the Founding Fathers intended.

Yes they intended wisdom over politics.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 17, 2009 3:53 PM

cornell:
..."He ruled in favor of privacy rights for sex offenders out on parole--

correction: INTERNET privacy rights.

did you catch my previous entry?

In 2008, Judge Hamilton struck down as unconstitutional an amendment to the state law requiring convicted sex offenders to provide the authorities with personal information, including any e-mail addresses or user names. The amendment would also have required the offenders to agree to allow their home computers to be searched at any time and to pay for a program to allow monitoring of their Internet use.

Now, how the heck is a Judge in Indiana going to make a ruling on something that the Congress has NOT even ruled on. Our Congress is so afraid of initiating any any Internet law or ruling because of the First Amendment and the outcry. For 20 years now, Congress has sat on their a**** about the Internet.
If Congress doesn't set the precedent, no measly STATE Judge will.


They haven't done so for 20 years.


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 3:50 PM

Does he believe life starts at conception or birth? It's hard to be a moderate these days.

Posted by: XLiberalJack | March 17, 2009 3:31 PM

How does an Obama supporter from day one say EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT?

Oh yeah, EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT, sir.

Lousy treasury pick, and now a lousy judicial pick...today just gets better and better.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | March 17, 2009 3:24 PM

The Washington Post continues it daily lying for the administration. Obama has every right to appoint to the bench who he wants, but this guy is not a moderate by anyone's definition. He was head of the ACLU and a big shot at ACORN. He ruled in favor of privacy rights for sex offenders out on parole. He is so incredibly left-wing -- AS IS HIS RIGHT. But for a lying thug of a Washington Post reporter to abuse his position and LIE to their readers is just one more reason why newspapers need to go away. This is the same day that the Washington Post, on orders from the White House, refuses to cover -- YES CENSORS -- the news that Obama want to charge veterans for service related injuries.

Let the Washington Post reporters just become parasites on society full-time.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | March 17, 2009 3:16 PM

Terrific. 30 years of Repuglicans appointing far-right judges to the federal bench, and now Obama announces his intention to follow Bill Clinton in only appointing "moderates." So much for ideological balance, and the pendulum swinging the other way. We need some bona-fide liberals on the federal bench -- district, appeals, and Supreme -- to begin counteracting the pernicious effect right-wing appointment after right-wing appointment under the GOP. Obama disappoints.

Posted by: TruthTeller41 | March 17, 2009 3:15 PM

"Only a flaming liberal like Michael "What about A-Rod?" Fletcher would consider Hamilton a "moderate".

Sorry numbnuts, but everyone besides frothing, rabid rightwingnuts considers Hamilton to be a moderate. From your warped perspective, everyone not marching in goosestep with you is a flaming liberal.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 17, 2009 3:11 PM

Hamilton: Indiana

He did receive attention for two rulings striking down actions of conservatives in the Indiana legislature. In 2005, he made news by ruling that the legislature was prohibited from beginning its sessions with overtly Christian prayers.

The decision drew widespread criticism in the legislature and across the state. On appeal, a panel of the Seventh Circuit dismissed the ruling, saying the people in whose name the American Civil Liberties Union had brought the suit lacked standing because they had not been harmed by the prayers.

In 2008, Judge Hamilton struck down as unconstitutional an amendment to the state law requiring convicted sex offenders to provide the authorities with personal information, including any e-mail addresses or user names. The amendment would also have required the offenders to agree to allow their home computers to be searched at any time and to pay for a program to allow monitoring of their Internet use.

The judge said the amendment cut into the heart of a person’s right to privacy in his home.
“The ability of the individual to retreat into his home and therefore to be free from unreasonable intrusion by the government stands at the very core” of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches, he said.
///
I really like the last one here. We should be free from unreasonable intrusion in our homes.....unlike the USA Patriot Act states.


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 2:48 PM

Just as long as he is not a Catholic or a rabid Christian fundamentalist. There are five Catholics on the SC right now, with predictable results.

Note the article, "On Africa trip, pope says condoms won't solve AIDS" No comments section there. None needed really, who is this bozo to think his scientifically uninformed opinion should rule the fight against AIDs in Africa.

Posted by: dotellen | March 17, 2009 2:46 PM

good choice

Posted by: e9999999 | March 17, 2009 2:36 PM

Ah, the "pigeonholing" begins! Before placing Judge Hamilton's judicial philosophy to the right or left, look at his entire body of work. For those screaming"liberal" read his decision in Hoosier Environmental Council and note that S Ct. Justice Thomas followed Judge Hamilton's "Tucker"preemption rationale in Wyeth. On the other hand, read Judge Hamilton's First Amendment ruling in Hinrichs. Geesh! Chill out and read his entire judicial record...Then decide.

Posted by: pathjd | March 17, 2009 2:29 PM

Alvin, you really are ignorant about Acorn.
If you have no clue about what you are spewing, you should just shut up and stay out of the discussions that you know nothing about.

Posted by: pca6661 | March 17, 2009 2:20 PM

htruman,
First, show me where I have ever "spout off day after day about "The Virtue of Selfishness", while deriding any individual or group that exhibits any sign of altruistic sacrifice. Shame on you!"
If you can't, will you admit that you are simply a lying liberal?

Second, it's interesting that you don't deny any of the facts in my comment, i.e., that Michael Fletcher left out critical information about Hamilton. Indeed, drgirl admits that the information I provided changed her opinion about Hamilton.

Third, if that's the best support you can come up with to defend an organization that has been investigated by numerous states for encouraging voter fraud and has promote breaking into homes, then you really should keep your mouth closed and stay out of political discussions.

Posted by: alvint | March 17, 2009 1:53 PM

DICK CHENEY AND THE AMERICAN GESTAPO: PERFECT TOGETHER?

Why didn't CNN's John King ask Cheney about the Sy Hersh allegation that he ran an "executive assassination ring" out of the White House?

Why hasn't the mainstream media followed up on the story?

Why has Rep. Dennis Kucinich's call for a full Congressional investigation into the issues raised by Sy Hersh received scant media coverage -- not even a mention here?

Why hasn't the mainstream media covered the proliferation of silent, inury- and illness-inducing microwave radiation weaponry (a/k/a "directed energy weapons") among law enforcement agencies coast to coast...

...weapons being deceptively sold as "non-lethals" or "less lethals," weapons that merely "heat" the "outer layer" of human skin -- when, in fact, such weaponry has the capability of "cooking" human tissue from the inside out.

I would argue that the issues enumerated above are political issues -- issues that a complacent, submissive mainstream media has been conditioned to avoid.

Colleagues, the revelations from Seymour Hersh represent but one strand of a complex and insidious web of policies and covert, coordinated "multi-agency actions" that, taken together, constitute an ongoing extrajudicial targeting and punishment network...

...an authoritarian apparatus that in communities nationwide destroys lives and makes a mockery of the rule of law.

This is a scandal far worse than Watergate -- a cancer on the nation that has gone undiagnosed due largely to media malpractice.


***


TEAM OBAMA: WHAT DO YOUR BUSH HOLDOVERS KNOW ABOUT THESE SECURITY-INTEL-REVENUE 'MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATED ACTIONS'...

* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons (D.E.W.) assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" that have used the IRS as an ideological tool of "social cleansing."


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 17, 2009 1:52 PM

A little wee bit of St, Patty's Day blarney for you on this fine day and a fine top of the afternoon to you as well. As far as this article goes, give me a break! Are you serious? Don't believe everything that you hear. There is more to this story than what meets the eye. Read the link below before formulating an opinion on this. It may just surprise you a bit!

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1460685/washington_state_parks_in_the_seattle.html?cat=16

Posted by: WayfareWarrior | March 17, 2009 1:50 PM


Hamilton's fine with me.
Our courts need empathy.
Heck, we all need empathy (not for AIG however))))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 1:43 PM

Hey alvint - "ACORN" has plenty of good deeds to point to, such as getting increased security and speed prevention installed across the nation’s communities for elementary school children that had the unlucky break of being born into poor households.

You on the other spout off day after day about "The Virtue of Selfishness", while deriding any individual or group that exhibits any sign of altruistic sacrifice. Shame on you!

Posted by: htruman | March 17, 2009 1:39 PM

Whoa: I am sure glad to get these comments from angry right wingers. As a liberal I was going to note how I was appalled about another slap in the face to liberals by Obama, but am a little less angry after I heard of his ties to the ACLU. So thanks angry republicans.

Posted by: drgirl | March 17, 2009 1:35 PM

Only a flaming liberal like Michael "What about A-Rod?" Fletcher would consider Hamilton a "moderate". Why not report more about Hamilton's history, such as his work as a fundraiser for ACORN or his work as vice president for litigation and a board member of the Indiana ACLU. Why not mention that even the liberal ABA rated him as ‘not qualified’ when Clinton nominated him.

A real reporter might have actually checked what the supervising appelate court has stated about 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.

In short, another fine example of how the Post and its reporters refuse to report the truth when it conflicts with their liberal bias. And yet they wonder why their circulation continues to decline.

Posted by: alvint | March 17, 2009 1:12 PM

Sorry, parkerfl1, but if People for the American Way aren't "liberals" I don't know who is. You're right, tho, that ReTalibans under their leader the Rushatollah will cry about anything Obama does or says.

Posted by: RealCalGal | March 17, 2009 1:06 PM

What is his view on the 2nd Amendment-right of the people (as it is supposed to be) or collective right?

Posted by: AAVp7a1 | March 17, 2009 1:04 PM

This pick is a no-win for Obama politically. The Right will ignore it will liberals will be sure to loudly rail against a moderate...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 17, 2009 12:30 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company