The Great and Powerful ACORN

When President Barack Obama announced his nomination of David Hamilton to a seat on the United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network was first out of the gate to blast the nomination because Hamilton reportedly had ties to the ACLU as well as the Right’s favorite bogeyman, ACORN:

Hamilton has a history as a hard-left political activist, and his choice signals that Obama does intend to push extreme liberals onto the bench and politicize the courts as we’ve never seen before.

Hamilton was a fundraiser for ACORN (nice ACORN payback, Mr. President) and served as vice president for litigation and a board member of the Indiana ACLU.

Hamilton’s purported ties to ACORN immediately worked its way into right-wing commentary on the nomination, being highlighted by Newbusters, Powerline, Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, and the Family Research Counciltwice, which complained that ACORN was getting it very own judge.

The idea that President Obama’s nomination of Hamilton was “payback” to ACORN quickly became the right-wing talking point of the day, with people claiming that he was “a big shot at ACORN” and leading to posts like this one written by Matthew Vadum at “The American Spectator” entitled “ACORN’s Federal Judge”:

Giving the term judicial activism new meaning, President Obama has nominated an ACORN loyalist to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Chicago Tribune reports … The Judicial Confirmation Network notes that Hamilton previously worked as a fundraiser for ACORN, the radical direct-action group that not only resurrects the dead and gets them to the polls every election but also shakes down banks and pressures them to make home loans to people who can’t afford to pay them back.

In nearly every instance, Hamilton’s ties to ACORN can be tracked back to Long and the Judicial Confirmation Network yet, oddly, when the group issued its own release on his nomination, it made no mention of his work with ACORN.

Now we know why:

Wendy Long, counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network, labeled Judge Hamilton a “hard-left political activist,” noting his work with the Indiana ACLU and suggesting he had an affiliation with the community organizing group ACORN.

“After college as a young man, he served one month as a canvasser for ACORN, helping them raise money door to door.

Hamilton graduated from college in 1979.  

I knew that ACORN was influential, but I had no idea it was so powerful that the President of the United States was obligated to pay it back by giving a federal judgeship to someone who worked for it for one whole month some thirty years ago.