Friday, January 30, 2009


Senate Democrats, under the direction of Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy, are jamming us on Justice Department nominees. Scheduling back-to-back hearings at unprecedented speed. Making it impossible for Republican Members and outside groups to raise critical issues in a meaningful way.

The upshot is that we are facing the possibility of having a Culture of Death Justice Department without any serious discussion or debate. Here are the facts:

--David Ogden has been nominated for Deputy Attorney General. His hearing is next week, less than a month after nomination. He filed a terrible brief in Planned Parenthood v Casey, and here are the relevant quotes:

(1) "Abortion rarely causes or exacerbates psychological or emotional problems. When women do experience regret, depression, or guilt, such feelings are mild and diminish rapidly without adversely affecting general functioning. The few women who do experience negative psychological responses after abortion appear to be those with preexisting emotional problems ...."


(2) "In sum, it is grossly misleading to tell a woman that abortion imposes possible detrimental psychological effects when the risks are negligible in most cases, when the evidence shows that she is more likely to experience feelings of relief and happiness, and when child-birth and child-rearing or adoption may pose concomitant (if not greater) risks or adverse psychological effects ...."

--Dawn Johnson has been nominated to serve as head of the Office of Legal Counsel. She is a former counsel to NARAL. This is absolutely stunning. For eight years the Democrats and the Left complained that this office, charged with providing the government with objective opinions about the constitutionality of acts they wish to undertake (this is the office that opined on detainees and interrogation, for example), had been politicized in an unprecedented way. And, now, without any debate or discussion, the Obama Administration is putting forward an absolute political zealot from one of the most Leftist groups in the country.

--Thomas Perelli, nominated to serve as Associate Attorney General. This guy defended the husband in the Terry Schaivo case, seeking to withdraw life-sustaining treatment.

If you add Elena Kagan, the Solicitor General nominee who is a Lesbian that viciously opposed the Solomon Amendment, you have the "hat trick"-- abortion, euthanasia, and gay rights.

Senate Republicans are going to let this happen without a fight? Can you imagine what kinds of legal opinions we are going to get, greenlighting abortion funding, conscience clause issues, protection of gay marriage, and all sorts of very dangerous end-of-life-related and abortion-related language in health care reform?

At a minimum, Republican Senators need to slow down this train. They need to ask the tough questions in hearings and afterwards. There needs to be ample time to debate, to get the nominees' opinions and commitments on key issues, etc.

- Leonard Leo

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