The Senate Judiciary Committee may vote during a lame duck session of Congress after the November 2004 election on the nomination of Claude Allen to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. A hearing was held on his nomination on October 28, 2003. Mr. Allen's career has been that of a vociferous partisan of extreme views unfit to sit as an impartial arbiter on the bench. NCJW opposes Allen's confirmation.


Who is Claude A. Allen?

  • Claude A. Allen was born in 1960 Philadelphia, PA. He received a BA in 1982 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Duke University School of Law in 1990.
  • From 1982 -1987, Allen worked for Senator Jesse Helms(R-NC) as press secretary for Helms' 1984 campaign and as Deputy Director and Press Secretary for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Helms. He also worked on the unsuccessful 1982 North Carolina congressional campaign of Republican William Cobey, who later served one term in Congress and is now Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
  • During 1990 and 1991 he was a law clerk to Judge David B. Sentelle, U. S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In 1991, he joined the firm of Balker and Potts, LLP.
  • From 1995 to 1997, Allen served as counsel to the Virginia Attorney General, and in 1997, he became Virginia’s Deputy Attorney General.
  • Allen became Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1998. In 2001, he joined the Bush Administration as Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
      Why does NCJW oppose Allen's nomination?

  • Claude Allen is an opponent of abortion in all circumstances except to save the life of the mother. As Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Allen opposed implementing the state’s federally funded Children’s Health Insurance Program because the federal government required abortion coverage in cases of rape or incest as well.
  • In another intervention in violation of the right to privacy, Allen attempted to thwart a dying man’s wife from making health care decisions regarding his care. Allen went to court to prevent Michele Finn from having her brain-damaged husband, Hugh Finn, disconnected from his feeding tube in accordance with his wishes as expressed prior to the injury that fatally wounded him: Allen continued to assist in futile legal interventions to overturn a finding that Finn was in a persistent vegetative state and would never recover. After Finn died, the Virginia General Assembly approved an appropriation of $48,000 to help pay Michele Finn’s legal fees fighting the state.
  • Allen’s career is that of a vociferous right wing ideologue. As press secretary to US Senator Jesse Helms’ re-election campaign in 1984, he attacked Helms’ opponent as having “links with queers.” He is an advocate of abstinence-only sex education. He has little or no trial experience. The seat for which he was nominated is normally reserved for a resident of Maryland. Allen’s nomination has been touted as adding to the 4th circuit’s diversity because Allen is African American. It is clear his selection has been made on ideological grounds to circumvent the two liberal Maryland senators who would have opposed a right-wing choice.

Who else opposes Claude A. Allen?

Americans for Democratic Action
Feminist Majority Foundation
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
National Organization for Women
NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund
People For the American Way
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States

Additional Information:

June 22, 2004
NCJW Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Reject Claude A. Allen

May 16, 2003
NCJW Opposes Nomination of Claude A. Allen to 4th Circuit Court of Appeals