Justice Dept. Nominees Raise Eyebrows

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Several conservative leaders are voicing concern over three of President Obama's Justice Department picks, claiming their backgrounds show a history of support for pornography, abortion, and assisted suicide.

Most of the criticism targets David Ogden, who's expected to be confirmed Thursday as deputy attorney general -- the No. 2 spot in the Justice Department.

Former Justice Department official Patrick Trueman called Ogden an "activist" for liberal causes, such as pornography, abortion, and homosexuals rights.

As an attorney, Ogden represented cases for Playboy, including a lawsuit to remove federally mandated filtering software in libraries. The requirement was put in place to protect kids from accesing adult Web content.

"It isn't so much that he's represented pornographers or that he's been a porn attorney, but it's his world view. And his world view reflects President Obama's world view," Trueman said.

Ogden has also argued against parental notification laws for abortions and for several gay rights cases, according to the Catholic group Fidelis.

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America said Ogden was "the wrong person to be in charge." She argues that his background indicates he would be implement "the very laws that he worked to overturn throughout his career."

Still, the Senate Judiciary Comittee voting on Ogden's nomination has recieved ample letters in his favor. The National District Attorneys Association wrote that he has an "institutional perspective" of the agency and is an impressive candidate.

Ogden has already held several positions within the Justice Department.

Signs of the Future?

Conservatives are also opposing two more of President Obama's justice picks -- Dawn Johnsen for her association with an abortion rights group, and Thomas Perrelli, who fought to have Terry Schiavo's feeding tube removed.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said Obama's latest nominations only foreshadow a series of "hard left-wing ideologues" to come.

"These people will not only be extremely influential in the application of law. They will also play key roles in filling judicial vacancies on the nation's highest courts," he said.

Perkins added that their selection shows "Obama's rhetoric doesn't meet with reality." He says the country's highest courts would now be "packed" with "left-wing judicial activists bent on imposing personal and political agendas upon the American people."

Challenges like these to Justice Department postitions are not new.

During the past two years, Democrats have made accusation about the Bush administration for firing and hiring based on political considerations.

Sources: Family Research Council, The Associated Press, Washington Times, FOX News

*Originally aired February 5, 2009

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