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
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