Today’s New York Times has an excellent editorial about President Obama’s first judicial nominee, David Hamilton. Judge Hamilton is nominated to an Indiana seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The editorial recognizes not only Hamilton’s bipartisan support-he has the approval of both Senator Bayh (D-IN) and Senator Lugar(R-IN) from his home state-but also Judge Hamilton’s excellent record in the law.
Senate Republicans, however, are currently creating a fuss over the nomination-they boycotted Judge Hamilton’s hearing and conservative commentators barely stopped for breath before they began attempting to mischaracterize his record. Clearly, they realize that Hamilton will not carry out the kind of political agenda that America got from President Bush’s judicial appointees, including his nominees to the Supreme Court.
The politicized Supreme Court ruled that Goodyear could cheat Lily Ledbetter, who worked there for 19 years, out of tens of thousands of dollars in pay. It took away the long established right of a man who was injured because of a defective heart device to hold the manufacturer accountable for the damage. It said that government officials can fire or demote whistleblowers for exposing corruption, waste, or fraud to their supervisors. It ruled that customers can’t sue bankers or others who helped corporations such as Enron to defraud them.
Hamilton also received a “well qualified” rating from the ABA (and speaking of the ABA, the Times had another great editorial yesterday about its role in the nomination process).
President Obama should continue to put forward highly qualified nominees like Judge Hamilton who will uphold our Constitution and the law to provide equal justice and protect personal freedoms for everyone in America, not just a few. As for the Senate. Well, Senate Democrats should see these Republican tactics for what they are — attempts to block majority votes on nominees who won’t support their political agenda.
We can’t continue to have a country where there is one set of rules for a few at the top and a different set for the rest of us. Hamilton has shown that unlike the nominees favored by President Bush, he will not put politics ahead of sound legal principles. David Hamilton should be approved without delay when the Senate comes back from recess.