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Pro-family groups oppose justice nominees

WASHINGTON (BP)–Pro-family groups are urging people to contact their senators in opposition to three candidates nominated by President Obama to the Department of Justice, including the man who would be second in command to the attorney general and who has a history of defending pornographers.

“Appointments to the Department of Justice, more than to any other department, reflect a president’s moral agenda,” Patrick Trueman, former chief of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, told Focus on the Family Action’s CitizenLink. “You can see from a president’s appointment to high positions in the Department of Justice where they stand.

“Obama is appointing people to run the Department of Justice, to interpret the laws of our nation, to carry out the laws of our nation, who will fight fiercely against the pro-family movement,” Trueman said.

David Ogden, the president’s nominee for deputy attorney general, has represented Playboy, Penthouse and other pornography businesses, even arguing for the use of taxpayer money to publish portions of Playboy in Braille at the Library of Congress, according to Tom Minnery, a senior vice president for Focus on the Family Action.

Ogden also opposes restrictions on pornography and believes adults have a constitutional right to view pornography at public libraries, CitizenLink reported Feb. 5.

Regarding abortion, Ogden has a record of supporting an almost limitless right to the procedure, Minnery said, and has provided legal counsel to Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women and People for the American Way.

“He argued that ‘abortion rarely causes or exacerbates psychological or emotional problems,’ opposed parental notifications for 14-year-olds, and called spousal notification a ‘burden’ that ‘cannot be justified,'” Minnery wrote in a letter to pro-family supporters.

In addition, Ogden served as counsel of record for a legal brief that said homosexuality “is a normal form of human sexuality” and has called traditional marriage a “social prejudice.”

“Mr. Ogden has built a career on representing values and companies that most Americans find repulsive,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote in a letter urging quick action from pro-family supporters.

Ogden was questioned at length by Republican senators Feb. 5 during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Associated Press said.

“You’ve taken some very extraordinary positions, some left-leaning and unorthodox positions,” Sen. Jon Kyl, R.-Ariz., told Ogden.

Even so, AP said Ogden was expected to be confirmed by the full Senate.

“He’s everything the pro-family movement has fought against, yet as deputy attorney general, he will be the chief executive officer of the U.S. Justice Department,” Trueman said of Ogden.

Two other nominees also stand to reverse the pro-family progress made in recent years. Thomas Perrelli, nominated to serve in the number three position as associate attorney general, represented the husband of Terri Schiavo, arguing for Michael Schiavo’s right to withhold food and water from his disabled wife. Minnery said Perrelli was lauded by pro-euthanasia activists for his involvement in the Schiavo case.

And Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s nominee for office of legal counsel at the Justice Department, is a former legal director for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and an ACLU fellow, Minnery said.

“NARAL is one of the most left-wing, pro-abortion, polarizing groups in the nation,” he wrote. “Throughout her career, Johnsen has been an open advocate of the abortion-rights lobby and is further evidence that Obama is politicizing the Justice Department.”

Pro-family leaders are urging people to contact their U.S. senators, asking them to oppose the nominations of Ogden, Perrelli and Johnsen.

“The one thing Barack Obama’s nominees to the Department of Justice seem to have in common is a disrespect for human life,” Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.

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