Obama yesterday nominated Judge David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit, which hears federal appeals from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Hamilton is a former ACLU board member and fundraiser for ACORN, whose decisions from the bench appear to track what you would expect from an ACLU board member and fundraiser for ACORN. Wendy Long and Ed Whelan, both of whom participated in Ashbrook’s conference on The Presidency and the Courts, offer their thoughts on Hamilton’s nomination here, here, and here.
Given this new nomination, Quin Hillyer’s article in the DC Examiner is particularly timely, and worth a read. The article features advice offered to Obama by Clinton administration Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor, and law prof and Volokh Conspiracist Jonathan Adler at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation. (The fact that I am deputy director of the Legal Center there is surely a coincidence.) Despite their different political and jurisprudential philosophies, Quin notes that all three panelists agreed that Obama should follow President Bush’s lead by renominating several of his predecessors blocked judicial nominees, and they likewise agreed that DC Circuit nominee Peter Keisler would be a good choice. There are more details, including Dellinger’s take on how the judicial issue cuts politically (better for conservatives), so you should read the whole thing. Of course, the question is whether Obama will entertain any of this advice, or whether we will see in President Obama an executive version of the liberal and doctrinaire Senator Obama, who voted for judicial filibusters and against Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.