Posts Tagged ‘David Hamilton’
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has pledged to filibuster President Obama’s first judicial nomination, Judge David Hamilton of Indiana. Inhofe is doing so because he is absolutely wrong on one decision Hamilton made. Hamilton, who has support from Republican Senator Richard Lugar from Indiana, correctly ruled on a case (Hinrichs v. Bosmah) brought to him involving Indiana’s House using the word “Jesus” in their pre-session prayers. Using the relevant Supreme Court case, Marsh v. Chambers, Hamilton ruled that God is an acceptable word to use because it is non-sectarian and does not advance one religion, but that Jesus is not because it advances a particular religion. He basically abided by the precedent from the higher court, in this case, the Supreme Court.
Inhofe’s other problem came from Hamilton’s response to a question posed by the Speaker of Indiana’s House. The Speaker asked if they could use the word “Allah” in the prayers. Here is Hamilton’s response:
The Speaker has also asked whether, for example, a Muslim imam may offer a prayer addressed to “Allah.” The Arabic word “Allah” is used for “God” in Arabic translations of Jewish and Christian scriptures. If those offering prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives choose to use the Arabic Allah, the Spanish Dios, the German Gott, the French Dieu, the Swedish Gud, the Greek Theos, the Hebrew Elohim, the Italian Dio, or any other language’s terms in addressing the God who is the focus of the non-sectarian prayers contemplated in Marsh v. Chambers, the court sees little risk that the choice of language would advance a particular religion or disparage others. If and when the prayer practices in the Indiana House of Representatives ever seem to be advancing Islam, an appropriate party can bring the problem to the attention of this or another court.
There you have it. The Supreme Court precedent said the word “God” was okay, and Hamilton did not think it mattered what language it was in. He even warned the prayer could not become Islamic. Obviously no big deal, right? You would think not, but it’s enough reason for Inhofe to filibuster. He apparently thinks this decision was supporting Islam over Christianity (exasperated sigh).
When you begin hearing the “Is Hamilton a secret Muslim?” crap, you will now know to ignore it.
Obama nominated Hamilton because he is considered a moderate with bipartisan support. He nominated him because his approval was supposed to be easy. If this development shows us anything, it’s that we should expect a lot of nomination craziness. It is with this in mind that I politely ask James Inhofe to quit being an idiot.
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