Announcing his first federal appeals court pick, President Obama today reached for a moderate who already has the bipartisan support of both of his home state's senators.
If confirmed, federal Chief District Judge David Hamilton of Indiana will get a seat on the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
Hamilton, a former counsel to then-Governor Evan Bayh, has served for 14 years as a federal judge in Indiana and has been chief judge for the southern district in January 2008.
“Judge Hamilton has a long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions. He will be a thoughtful and distinguished addition to the 7th circuit and I am extremely pleased to put him forward to serve the people of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin,” Obama said in a statement.
Senator Dick Lugar, an Indiana Republican, said in a statement from the White House, “I enthusiastically support the Senate confirmation of David Hamilton for U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hamilton has served the Southern District of Indiana with distinction as U.S. District Court Judge.”
Bayh, now a Democratic Senator from Indiana, said in a statement, "I was proud to work side by side with Senator Lugar to recommend Judge Hamilton for this lifetime appointment.
“President Obama is right that Democrats and Republicans can work together to put highly qualified jurists on the federal bench. Judge Hamilton is an exceptional jurist who has demonstrated the highest ethical standards and a firm commitment to applying our country's laws fairly.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.