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Republicans Protest Speedy Hearing for 7th Circuit Nominee

Posted Apr 2, 2009 10:30 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans boycotted Wednesday's confirmation hearing of David Hamilton of Indiana to serve on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hamilton is President Obama's first nominee to an appellate court.

While previously seen as a pick that would draw bipartisan support, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the panel's top Republican, said lawmakers weren't given enough time to prepare for Hamilton's hearing, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Specter said he and the others need time to go through the 95,000 pages of decisions Hamilton has issued over his 14 years as a federal district judge.

Committee Chair Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., said there's plenty of time for questions and review considering the committee won't vote for three more weeks.

Hamilton has the support of both of Indiana's senators, Richard Lugar, a Republican, and Evan Bayh, a Democrat. Hamilton also received a unanimous well-qualified rating by the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

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