People For the American Way Foundation

Hamilton Becomes Just Seventh Obama Nominee Confirmed to Federal Bench

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 20, 2009

Contact: Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

In response to the successful confirmation of Judge David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

“After months of concerted foot-dragging by Senate Republican leaders, Judge David Hamilton was finally confirmed. Hamilton is eminently qualified and firmly committed to constitutional values, and he will undoubtedly prove to be a great asset on the Seventh Circuit.

“The lesson from this nomination is that right-wing Senators will do everything they can to obstruct the President’s nominees, but they do not have the strength to ultimately prove good on their threats. Let’s remember that Judge Hamilton was nominated in March, received the highest ABA rating, and enjoyed widespread and bipartisan support in his home state and beyond. Yet the same right-wing Senators who were most eager to detonate the ‘nuclear option’ just a few years ago were the ones clamoring for a full-on filibuster.

“The Hamilton filibuster withered under criticism from across the spectrum – including some conservative activists and legal bloggers – and failed badly on Tuesday. President Obama and Senate Democrats must learn from this and not be deterred by the obstruction to come. Instead they must redouble their efforts and nominate and confirm many more nominees with the highest qualifications and commitment to constitutional values.

“Hamilton’s confirmation is undoubtedly a positive step, but we must not forget that President Obama has fallen far behind other recent presidents in putting his mark on the judiciary. President Obama and the Senate majority may never have another opportunity like the current one. For the nation’s sake, we urge them to use it.”

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PFAW’s statement on the failed Hamilton filibuster is available here.