Conservatives vs. Hamilton?

CONSERVATIVES VS. HAMILTON?…. President Obama will nominate District Court Judge David Hamilton of Indiana for the 7th Circuit with the big picture in mind. Hamilton, widely considered a judicial moderate, was chosen in part because his confirmation should be easy. A White House official said this week, “We would like to put the history of the confirmation wars behind us.” Support for Hamilton from Indiana’s conservative Republican senator, Richard Lugar, helps make this far more likely.

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody reports today, however, that the religious right is, naturally, outraged by the choice.

Maybe the Obama administration should have nominated George Hamilton instead of David F. Hamilton. The hollywood actor may have an easier time at confirmation…. The conservative judicial groups believe President Obama’s first judicial pick is a hard left liberal. […]

Part of the problem on Hamilton is that there is a lot of red meat topics here. When you rule on sensitive issues like abortion and separation of church and state it becomes a magnet for conservative groups to galvanize against you. Let’s face it. If he had some liberal ruling on an anti-trust case the yawn factor would be huge. But people pay more attention on abortion rulings.

Stay tuned. This thing may get ugly.

It might get ugly, but I kind of doubt it. Religious right complaints make Hamilton’s confirmation far less likely? Not if recent history is any guide.

These same conservative activists pulled out all the stops to derail the nomination of David Ogden, the president’s choice as deputy attorney general. The far-right groups made it seem as if things would “get ugly,” but Ogden was confirmed, 62 to 28. (The Family Research Council, arguably the religious right movement’s “powerhouse” in D.C., said it would “score” the vote on Ogden. It didn’t make any difference.)

Likewise, the movement said under no circumstances could John McCain be the Republicans’ presidential nominee. No one cared. It said Michael Steele was the wrong person to become RNC chairman. No one cared. It thought it could rally opposition to the Ogden nomination. No one cared. It thought it could derail Sebelius’ HHS nomination, only to find its Senate allies endorse her.

Now the religious right groups are livid over the Hamilton judicial nomination. I suspect they’re wasting their time again.