News reports. Excerpt:
Obama chose Hamilton, a U.S. district judge
in Indiana, as his first judicial nomination in March. The White House has
characterized Hamilton as a moderate pick whose judicial record would temper
criticism from conservative and liberal extremists -- bringing an end to the
political confirmation wars that have long accompanied such judicial
But Republican opposition to Hamilton's
nomination has emerged over rulings in a host of cases -- from barring
Christian prayer in the Indiana Legislature to blocking enforcement of certain
state abortion statutes.
In a letter penned Nov. 3 to his GOP
colleagues, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama blasted Hamilton for using
his position to "drive a political agenda." Hamilton stated in a 2003
speech that the role of a judge includes "writing footnotes to the
Constitution" and believes "empathy" should influence a judge's
decision making, Sessions wrote.
AP also analyzes the significance of the nomination of Judge Hamilton. Excerpt:
Sessions made it clear his party will put
up a fight against confirming either. He cited Hamilton's position in the late
1980s as a vice president for litigation and board member of the Indiana
chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Sessions also complained about
Hamilton's judicial rulings.
"Instead of embracing the
constitutional standard of jurisprudence, Judge Hamilton has embraced this
empathy standard, this feeling standard. Whatever that is, it is not law. It is
not a legal standard," Sessions said.