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Senator Criticizes ‘ACLU Chromosome’ in Obama’s Judicial Picks

Posted Oct 15, 2009 12:59 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Senate Judiciary Committee sent the nominations of four federal judges to the full Senate today, despite Republican objections about two of the nominees’ ties to the American Civil Liberties Union.

One nominee, Edward Chen, was a staff lawyer in the ACLU for 16 years, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. He has served as a magistrate judge in San Francisco for eight years. Another nominee, Dolly Gee, was once an ACLU member.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who is the top Republican on the committee, criticized ACLU positions against the death penalty and for the separation of church and state, according to the blog account. “I think we’re seeing a common DNA run through the Obama nominees, and that’s the ACLU chromosome,” he said.

The nomination of U.S. District Judge David Hamilton to the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been delayed indefinitely, partly because of his work for the ACLU in the 1980s, according to the story.

Related coverage:

San Jose Mercury News: “Senate judiciary committee votes to confirm two Bay Area federal judge nominees”

ABAJournal.com: “Senator Once Denied a Judgeship Is Concerned About ‘Empathy’ Nominations”

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