Deputy U.S. Attorney General nominee linked to porn industry

Deputy U.S. Attorney General nominee linked to porn industry


President Barack Obama’s selection of David Ogden to become Deputy Attorney General is being criticized because of Ogden’s links to the pornography industry.

A brief from the Chicago-based pro-family group Fidelis reports that Ogden has represented pornography businesses such as Playboy Enterprises and Penthouse Magazine.

He opposed the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 as counsel of record for an amicus brief supporting the American Library Association in a case that challenged mandatory anti-obscenity internet filters in public libraries.

In the 1986 case American Council for the Blind v. Boorstin, he successfully sought a court order forcing the Library of Congress to use taxpayer funds to print Playboy Magazine’s articles in Braille.

Ogden also successfully challenged laws requiring pornography producers to personally verify that models were over 18 at the time their materials were made. According to the Fidelis brief, he argued that the decision would “burden too heavily and infringe too deeply on the right to produce First Amendment protected material.”

In other areas, Ogden has argued for homosexuals in the military and an unlimited abortion license.

In an amicus brief for the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade’s mandating of permissive abortion laws, Ogden argued that abortion “rarely causes or exacerbates psychological or emotional problems.”

“The few women who do experience negative psychological responses after abortion appear to be those with preexisting emotional problems,” he continued.

He argued that evidence shows abortion is more likely to make women “experience feelings of relief and happiness” and claimed childbirth and childrearing or adoption may pose “concomitant (if not greater) risks or adverse psychological effects” compared to the effects of abortion.

In a Wednesday press release, Brian Burch, President of Fidelis, called Ogden “a hired gun from Playboy and ACLU.”

“Ogden’s record is nothing short of obscene,” he charged, adding: “David Ogden has collected checks from Playboy and Penthouse to fight reasonable protections for parents and children from pornography.”

“He can’t run from his long record of opposing common sense laws protecting families, women, and children.  The United States Senate has a responsibility to the American people to ensure that Mr. Ogden’s full record is fully reviewed before any vote on his nomination.”

“A vast majority of Americans support parental notification before a minor’s abortion and protecting kids from Internet pornography in our libraries,” Burch continued. “Yet David Ogden has fought tooth and nail against these common sense laws protecting our children from harm. At a time when America’s families are under increasing assault, Mr. Ogden is a dangerous choice for a position whose responsibilities include the enforcement of our nation’s laws.”

According to a July 2008 essay in New Yorker Magazine Ogden is not the only one with ties to the pornography industry.

The essay reported that Christine Hefner, who then headed Playboy Enterprises, played a role in supporting Barack Obama’s political career as early as 2002. Her support began after she met him at a gathering of an influential Chicago women’s group called Ladies Who Lunch.

“I was very proud to be able to introduce him during the Senate race to a lot of people who have turned out to be important and valuable to him, not just here but in New York and L.A.,” Hefner told New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza.

“I try and think about people who I think should know him,” Hefner said.

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