Of all the nomination faux pas President Obama has made in his very short time in office, the nomination of David Ogden to the second highest position at the U.S. Department of Justice takes the cake. To choose someone with such a track record of undermining families and such little respect for the written text of the law to be in charge of upholding the laws put in place to protect families would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.
Are we to believe he will protect children when he worked so hard against the Children’s Internet Protection Act (United States v. American Library Association), which sought to protect children from obscene materials in public libraries, and the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act (American Library Association v. Thornburgh), which required producers of pornography to personally verify that models were not minors? His long history of representing pornographers, including arguing that taxpayers should foot the bill to print Playboy in Braille (American Council for the Blind v. Boorstin), cannot give anyone confidence.
It is extremely worrisome that throughout his career he has felt the need to continually defend pornographers’ “rights” to propagate their filth because of “free speech,” and yet he also decided to co-author the National Organization for Women’s brief in the famous Scheidler vs. National Organization for Women case, which sought to use organized crime laws to censor pro-life advocates. I guess he didn’t think much about their free speech.
Are we to believe he will protect women and parents, when he co-authored a brief arguing that a parental notification requirement on a 14-year-old having an abortion was unconstitutional (Hartigan v. Zbaraz)? Not to mention the fact that he has argued that abortions should be eligible for federal funding as a method of “family planning” (Rust v. Sullivan). Oh, and he also wrote a brief supporting Oregon’s so-called Death with Dignity Act and opposing the barring of assisted suicide
But perhaps the most troubling aspect of his nomination is his judicial philosophy. Ogden seems to embrace the idea of a “living, breathing” Constitution that judges can change with the times, following the “principles” of the Constitution while molding the written text. In a 1986 Legal Times op-ed later quoted by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at a 1999 nomination hearing, Ogden said, “Constitutional interpretation cannot be limited to ascertain the way a particular law would have been viewed by the Framers. While constitutional principles do not change, the society and individuals in whom they are applied do, and our knowledge about that society and those individuals improves with time.”
Our concerns are only heightened by his willingness to rely on the use of foreign law to decide domestic cases. By using phrases like “worldwide consensus” and “international norm” in Roper v. Simmons, those who believe as Mr. Ogden does suggest that because the rest of the world is doing something the United States should feel compelled to follow suite, perhaps going so far as to change its laws to accommodate the international community.
Bottom line: David W. Ogden should not be confirmed to be Deputy Attorney General, and people should call their Senators (202-224-3321) and ask them to oppose his nomination.
If this nomination is an example of Obama’s way of “reaching” out to all peoples, he could not be more mistaken. The fact is this nomination is one more example of this administration’s apparent hostility towards pro-life, pro-family Americans. The move feels more like a way to say “thank you” to his left-wing extremist supporters. I’m sure the pro-abortion, pro-pornography, “how-can-we-rely-on-such-an-old-document-written-by-white-racists” crowd will love him for it.