Obama’s Choice for Deputy AG is ‘Pro-Obscenity,’ ‘Pro-Abortion’ and ‘Pro-Homosexual,’ Conservatives Say
February 4, 2009 - 11:36 PMUnderneath David W. Ogden's seemingly sterling legal resume lies a "dangerous" record of working on behalf of pornographers, abortionists and homosexual activists, said opponents of his nomination to serve as deputy attorney general.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Thursday morning for David W. Ogden, who served as a top assistant under Attorney General Janet Reno in the Clinton administration and has held high legal posts with the Defense Department and at one of Washington, D.C.’s top law firms.
Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council said even though Ogden may look good on paper, the reality is he would be “a horrible” deputy attorney general.
“This is a guy who has lobbied in the court system for just about every anti-family issue you could think of – everything from child pornography to children’s rights when it comes to abortion, to lobbying for gays in the military,” McClusky said.
Anti-pornography attorney Pat Trueman told CNSNews.com that Ogden has has been on a legal crusade, representing pornographers, abortionists and homosexual activists seeking to change military law.
“David Ogden is, from the pro-family perspective, the worst choice President Obama could make for this key position at the U.S. Department of Justice,” Trueman told CNSNews.com.
Brian Burch, president of Fidelis, a pro-life, pro-family advocacy organization, said Ogden has represented Playboy “in at least four different cases.”
“He’s represented Penthouse magazine, he represented the largest distributor of hardcore pornography, along with the ACLU and others,” Burch told CNSNews.com
Ogden has fought against “reasonable restrictions to protect children from pornography – especially in libraries and other venues in which pornographers attempt to distribute their materials,” Burch added.
-- He opposed the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 in court (in United States v. American Library Association).
-- He challenged the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988, and a companion law adopted in 1990 – the Child Protection Restoration and Penalties Enhancement Act. Ogden argued that requiring porn producers to personally verify that their models were over age 18 would “burden too heavily and infringe too deeply on the right to produce First Amendment-protected material.”
-- Ogden even sued the federal government in an attempt to publish Braille versions of Playboy magazine – at taxpayer expense.
“He’s far outside the mainstream,” Burch added. “He’s not someone that American families can rely on to enforce the laws on our books – let alone to not use the courts to advance legal positions that could emperil the American family.”
Bob Peters of Morality in Media, an interfaith anti-porn organization based in New York City, said Ogden isn’t just a powerhouse attorney who may have represented a lone pornographer sometime during his career.
“It would be one thing if David Ogden had represented pornographers or those defending pornography in one or two cases over a long distinguished legal career,” Peters said. “But this man went into court over and over again to represent soft-core and hardcore pornographers and other smut peddlers.”
Ogden also has been deeply involved in top Supreme Court cases seeking to advance abortion and homosexuals in the military, said McClusky, who is vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council.
-- In Casey vs. Planned Parenthood in 1992, Ogden argued against Post-Abortion Syndrome, saying: “Abortion rarely causes or exacerbates psychological or emotional problems. When women do experience regret, depression or guilt, such feelings are mild and diminish rapidly, without adversely affecting general functioning. The few women who do experience negative psychological responses after abortion, appear to be those with pre-existing emotional problems.”
-- In Hartigan v. Zbaraz, Ogden argued (on behalf of the American Psychological Association) that requiring a 13- or 14-year-old girl to notify her parents before getting an abortion was “an unconstitutional burden.”
He wrote: “By any objective standard, the decision to abort is one that a reasonable person, including a reasonable adolescent, could make.”
In Scheidler v. National Organization of Women in 2003, Ogden co-authored a legal brief on behalf of the feminist group and several abortion clinics. The groups wanted federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations) Act penalties applied against pro-lifers from Operation Rescue and the Pro-Life Action League of Chicago – penalties which were originally aimed at fighting organized crime.
Ogden even represented law professors in a brief supporting Oregon’s Death with Dignity law allowing physician-assisted suicide.
Ogden, meanwhile, has filed legal briefs on behalf of clients in every major case involving homosexuality or the military ban on homosexuality – including the landmark 1986 case, Bowers v. Hardwick, in which he wrote -- “Because neither homosexuality, nor the prohibited sexual conduct is pathological in and of itself, preventing the development of homosexuality and deterring the prohibited conduct cannot be defended as mental health goals.
In Watkins v. United States Army, Ogden argued that sexual orientation “does not affect a person’s ability to contribute to society” and that “discrimination” against homosexuals is “substantially based on erroneous stereotypes.”
“He basically argued that it was OK to turn the armed forces into a social experiment,” McClusky said.
Ogden also weighed in on behalf of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 case that swept away all laws against sodomy and homosexual behavior.
He argued that homosexuality is “a normal form of human sexuality.”
Pat Trueman, who headed the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the George H.W. Bush administration, said what makes the confirmation of Ogden so dangerous is that the second-in-command job at the Justice Department essentially functions as CEO for the agency.
“He is being put in by President Obama to affect the entire spectrum of issues of concern to the pro-family movement, and the result will not be good if he is confirmed,” Trueman said. “If we don’t defeat him now, we will be fighting against him for the next four years – only he will have all the tools on his side.”
Added McClusky: “I think if most Americans knew what this man has worked for, has argued for, has gone to court for, support for him would melt away.”