Life Advocacy Briefing

March 30, 2009


1st Judicial Nomination to be Heard by Committee Wednesday
/ Clear and Present Danger / Outrageous Honor / Bad Choice / Tiller Trial to the Jury / Questionable Honor / Quoteworthy / Ideology over Constitutionality
Final March for Life Speech / Senate Voting Record

1st Judicial Nomination to be Heard by Committee Wednesday

SENATE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT) HAS PUT the nomination of David Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on the fast track, scheduling a committee hearing on the appointment for this Wednesday, April 1. Calls are needed to US Senators (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) asking a “no” vote on the David Hamilton appointment. Later in this Life Advocacy Briefing, we publish a statement by six conservative leaders detailing Judge Hamilton’s leftish record and lack of qualifications.


Clear and Present Danger

THE NOMINATION OF PRO-ABORTION LAWYER DAWN JOHNSEN to the critical post of Asst. Atty. General for the Office of Legal Counsel has advanced to the full Senate. Readers are urged to contact Senators (Capitol switchboard: 1-202/224-3121) and request a “no” vote on the confirmation of Dawn Johnsen.

Calling Ms. Johnsen “the worst yet” among the pro-abortion lawyers to be submitted for confirmation, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List political action committee, in a news release, lists the following elements in the Johnsen record:

“Has worked for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project and … [as] legal director for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL); …

“Has compared pregnancy to slavery. In 1989, she wrote that abortion restrictions such as the partial-birth abortion ban and parental notification laws result in ‘forced pregnancies,’ which she claimed amounts to ‘involuntary servitude;’ …

“Has argued that the government should strip the Catholic Church and other religious denominations of their tax exempt status because of their pro-life advocacy; …

“Was heavily involved in the authorship of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would repeal every state and federal restriction on abortion and further enshrine abortion as the law of the land;

“In a paper given to mark the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, she said the first priority of the progressive agenda was to ‘focus on the courts as the vehicle of desired change.’”

Noting the exceptional extremism of the Johnsen record, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser expressed hope for defeating her appointment. Such a goal requires the active participation of every pro-life citizen in protesting the nomination of Dawn Johnsen.


Outrageous Honor

THE CARDINAL NEWMAN SOCIETY HAS POSTED A PETITION on the Internet by which signers can protest the Notre Dame University invitation to the most radical abortion advocate ever to occupy the White House. The group had collected more than 172,000 signatures when our editor signed the petition on Thursday.

Pres. Obama is scheduled to keynote the Notre Dame graduation May 17 and to receive an honorary degree in law from the formerly respected institution. Many current students, alumni, donors, Roman Catholics and pro-life citizens are speaking out against the invitation. More information and the petition itself are available at


Bad Choice

SEN. JOHN ENSIGN GAVE HIS COLLEAGUES A CHOICE last week to specify that pregnancy care centers and organizations serving battered women and victims of sex crimes would be eligible for funding under the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program set up by the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism & Education (GIVE) Act, HR-1388. The Left prevailed, however, pushing through, by a vote of 56 to 41, a motion to table the Ensign amendment. We publish the Senate roll call at the close of this week’s Life Advocacy Briefing.


Tiller Trial to the Jury

THE CASE AGAINST WICHITA ABORTIONIST GEORGE TILLER was expected to go to the jury last Friday after a week-long trial, which featured testimony from the notorious baby killer himself. Judge Clark Owens refused a Tiller motion for dismissal after the defense closed its case Thursday, “indicat[ing] that he believed on legal grounds,” notes Operation Rescue (OR) in a news release reporting on the trial, “that this case must go to the jury on the legal theory that [Mr.] Tiller and [Ms.] Neuhaus were financially affiliated.”

OR president Troy Newman, in the release, urged prayers for justice as the jury of six deliberate on whether Mr. Tiller’s financial arrangement with consulting abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus violated the state’s requirement that late-term abortions be signed off on by a second, unaffiliated physician.  Ms. Neuhaus testified in the case as a hostile witness for the prosecution.

During Mr. Tiller’s testimony, reports OR, he “admitted that he profited financially by [Ms.] Neuhaus consulting with his patients. He estimated that he did 250-300 post-viability abortions in 2003 at an average cost of $6,000. … He told the court,” reports OR, “that his overhead is 62% of the fees generated by his clinic. His salary is 38% of the gross income of his clinic,” notes OR.

The abortion mill operator did not indicate how many abortions he committed before his targets’ viability, but, “doing the math,” notes Mr. Newman, he “personally made at least $684,000 killing viable babies in 2003.”


Questionable Honor

IN A FITTING TRIBUTE, Planned Parenthood last Friday conferred its “2009 Margaret Sanger Award” on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton is the most visible American ambassador,” notes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins in his March 26 Washington Update. “What better way to show her support for the President’s newest export – overseas abortion – than share the stage with one of the federal government’s prime partners in that effort?”

Planned Parenthood, in its news release announcing the award, quoted by Mr. Perkins, characterized Mrs. Clinton as “‘a champion of women’s health and rights throughout her public service career.’ …

“The question remains,” points out Mr. Perkins, “whether this award is even an honor. … Why agree,” he asks, “to be celebrated by the number-one supplier of abortion in America? It’s an organization whose founder embraced eugenics,” notes Mr. Perkins, “targeted ‘the unfit’ for ‘extinction,’ and whose current staff is on record as accepting racially motivated donations in seven different clinics nationwide. It’s an organization that fights to bar parents from the medical decisions of their 12-year-old daughters. According to videos in at least four states,” Mr. Perkins continues, “Planned Parenthood has been involved in serial statutory rape cover-ups. Allegations in California point to an estimated $180 million of fraud. In at least two states, PP petitioned for the construction of abortion clinics under false pretenses.

“Really, is this an award that anyone – including Hillary Clinton – should covet?” asks Mr. Perkins. “Planned Parenthood’s long campaign to promote abortion on request, celebration of sexual libertinism, eugenics and radical prejudice is the worst foreign policy message our nation could send – and tomorrow,” writes Mr. Perkins, “they crown their messenger.”



Professor Geoffrey Raisman, director of the Spinal Repair Unit at University College London Institute of Neurology, from “Health: Stem Cell Therapy – Question for Short Debate,” March 3, 2009, House of Lords Debate, quoted by the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity in The Bioethics Weekly: “The scramble to fund human embryonic stem cell experiments looks like the scientific equivalent of sub-prime mortgages. One wonders how long the large sums of money and hype can go on chasing such a distant goal before the bubble bursts. … Patients have for some years been putting ever increasing faith in the curative properties of embryonic stem cells far beyond anything justified by any current knowledge or treatments. The attraction of human embryonic stem cells lies less in their therapeutic than in their imagined commercial potential – but is this justified by the science?”


Ideology over Constitutionality

Statement by the following six conservative leaders, “representing the broader conservative movement:” Former Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese, former US Rep. David McIntosh (R-IN), Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, former counselor to the Atty. General T.K. Cribb, American Spectator publisher Alfred S. Regnery and Council for National Policy president Becky Norton Dunlop

Pres. Obama’s nomination of David Hamilton to the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit represents a choice based on the merits of political ideology instead of competence and impartiality. Hamilton, Obama’s first judicial nominee, has none of the judicial expertise or experience required but all of the ties to left-wing special interest groups and a record of activist rulings reflecting his personal views that only a liberal ideologue could hope for.

Pres. Obama promised to usher in a new era of post-partisanship. Unfortunately, that promise expired with his very first judicial pick, as he nominated Hamilton not on the basis of his commitment to the judicial oath but on the basis of expressed (and demonstrated) commitment to an extreme political agenda.

Pres. Obama also admitted on the campaign trail that he would select judges based not on their impartiality or understanding of the Constitution but on whether they “have life experience and they understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them” and whether they have “the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old.”

As a judge, Hamilton has shown himself to be soft on crime, radically pro-abortion and hostile towards religion. With such a liberal activist record unmarked by significant experience, Judge Hamilton is clearly a bad and politically motivated appellate nominee.

Judge Hamilton is committed to an extreme political agenda. Hamilton is a former ACLU leader who lent his legal skills to the far-left special interest group. He was a fundraiser for the liberal activist group ACORN, the sponsor of the most comprehensive criminal voter fraud campaign in American history.

Judge Hamilton’s experience as a political activist does not qualify him for a judicial office. In 1994, when Pres. Clinton nominated him to the district court, the American Bar Assn. rated Hamilton as “not qualified,” apparently because of his almost purely political (as opposed to legal and judicial) experience. There is nothing in his record as a judge that suggests he’s any more qualified now.

Judge Hamilton has a record of going out of his way to let criminals go free. He made it easier for child predators to move around in Indiana by invalidating a commonsense sex offender law designed to protect children from those same predators. He has a record of helping criminal defendants by suppressing evidence and warrants that would help law enforcement keep streets and families safe. He once suppressed a warrant that had been issued after a child revealed to a social worker that her mother had illegal drugs in their house. He took the extreme measure of ruling that a drug sniffing dog is comparable to using a thermal imaging device to look into houses.

Judge Hamilton is a typical abortion-on-demand absolutist. For years he used his judicial office to fight a popular Indiana law designed to reduce the number of abortions. That reasonable, commonsense law required information and a waiting period before an abortion, and Judge Hamilton invalidated it despite Supreme Court precedent supporting it.

Judge Hamilton is hostile to the free exercise of religion. He ruled that prayers to Jesus Christ offered at the beginning of legislative sessions in the Indiana State House of Representatives violated the Constitution but that prayers to Allah did not.

Given Hamilton’s lack of qualifications and clear record of liberal ideology, the Senate should reject his nomination.  Pres. Obama’s choice of Hamilton flies in the face of the desire of the vast majority of Americans for credentialed and impartial judges, and the Senate should vote accordingly.


Final March for Life Speech

This week’s speech is the final in the series transcribed by Life Advocacy Briefing from EWTN Television’s live coverage of the March for Life, Jan. 22, 2009

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS): Hi! I’m Sam Brownback from the State of Kansas. Good to see that great Kansas crowd here. Are you ready to march for Life? [cheers, “Yes!”] Are you ready to say No to FOCA? [cheers, “Yes!”] Are you ready to say yes to Life? [cheers, “Yes!”] Are you going to stop saying yes to Life? [“No!”] We’re going to continue this fight. We may have lost an election. We have not lost the war. Our cause is too important. Our cause is too just and right. We will continue to fight for Life no matter how long the fight takes.

In the effort to end the slave trade in Great Britain, they nearly won it in the very beginning. In the first couple of years in the fight, they almost won it, and then they lost it at the end, and it took another 20 years to accomplish the end of the slave trade. Are we going to give up? [“No!”] We will continue to fight for Life no matter how long it takes. No matter how weary people may get, no matter how many marches we have to do, because Life is the right choice. It is the right choice for America.

[Here, Sen. Brownback briefly introduces the European Parliament’s right-to-life committee head, then concludes.] Thank you. Keep marching! God bless you all.


Senate Voting Record

Motion to table the Ensign Amendment including pregnancy centers and battered women shelters in the GIVE Act – March 25, 2009 – Tabling motion adopted – 56 to 41

Voting “no” / pro-life: AL/Sessions & Shelby, AK/Murkowski, AZ/Kyl & McCain, FL/Martinez, GA/Chambliss & Isakson, ID/Crapo & Risch, IN/Lugar, IA/Grassley, KS/Brownback & Roberts, KY/Bunning & McConnell, LA/Vitter, MS/Cochran & Wicker, MO/Bond, NE/Johanns & Nelson, NV/Ensign, NH/Gregg, NC/Burr, ND/Conrad, OH/Voinovich, OK/Coburn & Inhofe, PA/Casey & Specter, SC/DeMint & Graham, SD/Thune, TN/Alexander & Corker, TX/Cornyn & Hutchison, UT/Bennett & Hatch, WY/Barrasso

Voting “yes” / pro-abortion: AK/Begich, AR/Lincoln & Pryor, CA/Boxer & Feinstein, CO/Bennet & Udall, CT/Dodd & Lieberman (I), DE/Carper & Kaufman, FL/Nelson, HI/Akaka & Inouye, IL/Burris & Durbin, IN/Bayh, IA/Harkin, LA/Landrieu, ME/Collins & Snowe, MD/Cardin & Mikulski, MA/Kerry, MI/Levin & Stabenow, MN/Klobuchar, MO/McCaskill, MT/Baucus & Tester, NV/Reid, NH/Shaheen, NJ/Lautenberg & Menendez, NM/Bingaman & Udall, NY/Gillibrand & Schumer, NC/Hagan, ND/Dorgan, OH/Brown, OR/Merkley & Wyden, RI/Reed & Whitehouse, SD/Johnson, VT/Leahy & Sanders (I), VA/Warner & Webb, WA/Cantwell & Murray, WV/Byrd & Rockefeller, WI/Feingold & Kohl

Not voting: MA/Kennedy, WY/Enzi; Vacancy: Minnesota


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