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This week I urged my U.S. senators to oppose the God-King’s unqualified nominees to the federal judiciary. For decades, the American Bar Association have assessed judicial nominees based on a nominee’s experience and temperament, the latter as reported by lawyers with first-hand knowledge of the nominee. Notably, the ABA’s ratings do not consider a nominee’s political party or ideology and do not consider specific issues that a nominee has litigated or discussed in law review articles, public speeches, or bench decisions.
President Obama and his predecessors routinely sent lists of potential judicial nominees for rating by the ABA, and crossed off those that the ABA deemed “not qualified.” Shortly after he took office, the God-King said he would no longer solicit the ABA’s ratings. But the ABA still rate his nominees once they are announced, and have already rated four of his nominees as “not qualified,” including a lawyer who spent his entire career as a GOP campaign worker and blogger and has never argued a case in court. But he just happens to be married to the chief-of-staff of the Outhouse advisor who proposes judicial nominees….
And as night follows day, Senate Republicans have decided the ABA are “a liberal interest group” whose ratings are “biased.”
The ABA’s ratings are not political. They rated Neil Gorsuch as “well-qualified” for the U.S. Supreme Court, not because they thought he was liberal but because he had 11 years’ experience as a federal appellate judge and people who worked with him respected his temperament (if not always his decisions).
Please call your senators and demand a return to sanity. We can’t expect the God-King to nominate progressive judges. But we should expect him to nominate qualified judges … and that cannot mean merely “passes the conservative ideological purity test.”
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