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Justice Nominee Is No Pornographer

By Eva Rodriguez

Did President Barack Obama nominate a pornographer and avowed abortionist to a top post at the Justice Department? That's what some outside groups would have you believe. The Family Research Council and other conservative interest groups have been campaigning ferociously to derail the nomination of David W. Ogden for the No. 2 slot at Justice.

The groups rail against Ogden for, among other things, providing legal support for librarians who challenged an online anti-pornography law. The critics also slam Ogden for writing a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of the American Psychological Association in a Supreme Court abortion rights case. The brief argued that women, by and large, do not suffer deep or long-lasting emotional or psychological traumas as a result of having an abortion.

Should Ogden's record as a lawyer be thoroughly examined before being confirmed to one of the highest law enforcement jobs in the country? Yes. Is there room to disagree with him on his positions on these and other matters? Of course. But should he be smeared as a defender of pedophiles because he represented a client who believed the anti-pornography law was written too broadly and could infringe on constitutionally-protected free speech rights? Absolutely not.

It is not unusual for interest groups on both sides of the political spectrum to engage in gross distortions of a nominee's record. It is, however, shameful. These illegitimate attacks should not obscure the fact that Ogden is a talented and accomplished lawyer and one who has sworn to put aside his personal convictions and enforce the laws equally and in a just manner. He should be confirmed -- and by a wide margin.

All presidents deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to seating executive branch officials. After all, these nominees do not enjoy lifetime tenure. Republicans rightly made this argument during the past eight years when one of their own was making the selections. They should abide by those standards today or be prepared to continue this obnoxious game of payback when a Republican once again occupies the White House.

Update, 2:45 pm: The Senate just confirmed Ogden by a vote of 65-28

By Eva Rodgriguez  | March 12, 2009; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodgriguez  
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Oh, why bother with these conservative interest groups, Eva?

They are the ones who will come to the rescue of the politician who solicited gay sex in an airport restroom by tapping his foot to send a signal to the guy occupying the adjacent booth or something of the sort -- the kind of news story you feel too embarrassed to even read.

Posted by: FUZZYTRUTHSEEKER | March 12, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate, but for too long a time, social conservatism has resorted to bombast and exaggeration as it attempts to do what it fears liberal thinkers would want to do: convert or subordinate. From their own fears, sadly, detractors of open-minded thinking have accused their presumed foes of communism, liberalism, and that dread horror, secularism. Their logic may be weak, but their zeal is fervent.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | March 12, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Did President Barack Obama nominate a pornographer and avowed abortionist to a top post at the Justice Department? THE ANSWER IS YES

Posted by: oldhat | March 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I think there are other legitimate reasons to oppose Mr. Ogden. For one he worked for a corrupt cartel aka RIAA:
"Then there’s the #2 man, currently slated to be David Ogden. If that name only rings a faint bell it’s because you have to cast your mind back to Eldred v Ashcroft, the argument on whether retroactive copyright term extensions were legal. Sitting over there on Ashcroft’s side? That’s Mr. Odgen. For extra-bonus ick points, Ogden also was involved in defending the heinous COPA legislation, fortunately now dead and buried (but not forgotten)." This excerpt taken from "RIAA gang now at DOJ" on p2p dot net. Nuff said.

Posted by: Rhajmon | March 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

A physician will refuse to perform an abortion if it against his principles. Summarily, an attorney should refuse to represent a paying client if it against his beliefs. He may not be a pornographer but he certainly accepts it.

Posted by: EZ2C | March 16, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

As a professional librarian, I have opposed laws that cut into our Constitutional rights. Not to support porn, but to support the Constitution. Dare you call me a pornographer too?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 16, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Enthusiastic supporter of pornographers. Why beat around the bush?

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | March 16, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The Family Research Council and other right-wing neochristians whose agenda is not Christ's but rather cherry-picking their morality like they cherry pick Leviticus, can shove it up their collective as*ses.

Americans voted out a continuation of the immoral and corrupt Cheney theocracy that damn near destroyed this nation for eight years. Perkins, Dobson et. al. have the freedom to go primp, pose, pretend, posture, pray and pimp poor old Jesus for greed and political power with their own on Sunday and keep their twisted judgmental fingers our of American government.

Posted by: coloradodog | March 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"when a Republican once again occupies the White House." Oh, please. NOOOOO!

Posted by: SteveJake | March 16, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The "Family Research Council" is nothing more than an English-speaking, western-dressing branch of the Taliban. Why we should let them have a continued voice in our national politics, while we are fighting to put their Pashtun-speaking wing out of business in Afghanistan, is a mystery to most educated Americans.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If the Family Research Council is against him, he must be the right person for the job.

Posted by: dougharty | March 16, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Arlen Specter, GOP icon, defended Ira Einhorn, the Unicorn Killer and international fugitive...What does that prove? It proves he's a lawyer.

The Talibangelists have us in a stranglehold. Their secular lord and master Rush, is worse. The GOP is l;ost, so lost.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | March 16, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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