This is the seventh entry in a series on FOCA by Stealth by AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs, Denise M. Burke. The entire article from which this series is taken is available at Beware of “FOCA-By-Stealth”: Radical Abortion-on-Demand Agenda Being Implemented Piecemeal.
The President has a unique opportunity to influence a variety of legal and policy debates and decisions through his judicial appointments. He appoints all federal district court and appellate judges, including USSC justices. By virtue of the lifetime tenure of federal judges, the President can exert this influence long after he leaves office.
For this reason and others, a candidate’s judicial philosophy is typically of significant interest during a Presidential campaign. During his campaign, President Obama publicly stated he would appoint USSC justices in the mold of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter, two of the Court’s most ardent abortion rights supporters who, for example, voted to strike down the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. President Obama further opined he finds himself compelled “to side with Justice Breyer’s view of the Constitution—that it is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.”
True to his expressed intent to appoint pro-abortion judges who will interpret the American Constitution in light of ever-evolving circumstances and principles rather than the original intent of the Framers, President Obama used his first judicial appointment to select a radically pro-abortion judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. On March 17, 2009, the President nominated David Hamilton, a federal district court judge from Indiana, as well as a former Vice President for Litigation and board member of the Indiana branch of the ACLU and a former fundraiser for Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Hamilton was first appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994 even though the American Bar Association (ABA) had given him a “not qualified” rating.
As a federal judge, Hamilton issued multiple rulings over seven years preventing Indiana’s informed consent law—a law that fully complied with the USSC’s requirements for such laws (as set out in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision)—from going into effect. The Seventh Circuit—the same court to which he is nominated—later reversed him, stating “[n]o 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 response to Hamilton’s nomination, the New York Times opined that Hamilton’s nomination was meant to send a signal as to the types of judges President Obama would appoint. If that proves to be true, it is clear President Obama will appoint hard-core abortion proponents—judges who will read the spirit and intent of FOCA into the U.S. Constitution and invalidate medically-supported and common-sense regulations or restrictions on the abortion license—to the federal bench and to the US Supreme Court.