Thursday, April 30, 2009

Senate Judiciary Hearing Held On Nominees for Civil Rights Division, Judgeships

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on three nominees (webcast of hearing):

  • Thomas E. Perez, to be Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice. (See prior posting.)
  • David F. Hamilton, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit. (See prior posting.)
  • Andre M. Davis, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit. (See prior posting.)

CQ reports that the most controversial of the nominations is that of David Hamilton. Apparently, this is because as a federal district court judge, Hamilton wrote two decisions holding that the Indiana House of Representatives, in opening its sessions with sectarian prayer, violated the Establishment Clause. (See prior postings 1, 2.) Republicans boycotted the first Judiciary Committee hearing on Hamilton on April 1, claiming that Democrats were moving too quickly on it. Only one Republican (Oklahoma's Tom Coburn) was in attendance yesterday.