Senator John Cornyn: David Hamilton Unfit For Bench

Dear Mr. and Mrs. White:

Texas Senator John Cornyn

Thank you for your recent letter regarding my opposition to Judge David Hamilton’s nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important issue.

I voted against Judge David Hamilton’s confirmation to serve on the United States Court of Appeals. After close review, I believe his writings and statements show an unwillingness to serve as a neutral arbiter of the law. In numerous opinions written during his tenure on the District Court, Judge Hamilton has displayed a lack of impartiality, a disregard for precedent, and a willingness to legislate from the bench.

For instance, in striking down Indiana’s popularly enacted informed-consent abortion law, Judge Hamilton radically ruled in A Woman’s Choice v. Newton that the law unconstitutionally

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals

imposed an ‘undue burden’ on the right to an abortion because it allegedly forced ‘women to make two trips to a clinic.’ In making this ruling, Judge Hamilton flaunted the directly applicable precedents of the Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit. He also, according to Seventh Circuit opinion that reversed his ruling, relied on a ‘faulty study by biased researchers who operated in a vacuum of speculation.’

As a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Texas Attorney General, I believe Americans are best served by a federal judiciary as the framers of the Constitution intended. Federal judges are appointed for life; thus it is imperative that nominees demonstrate a record of wise judgment and proven legal ability. Additionally, nominees must prove that they will not legislate from the bench or color their rulings with personal ideology. I believe that such requirements will ensure the preservation of our Constitution and safeguard the principles that we hold dear. Accordingly, I voted “no” on the confirmation of Judge David Hamilton.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856

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