Democrats would have people believe that the ABA’s ratings are non-partisan and that putting forward judicial nominees whom they deem to be not qualified is a violation of political norms. But it’s the ABA’s partisan witch hunts that are violating political norms.
The ABA’s rating is now as meaningless as the other ‘expert’ institutions manipulated by lefties. The attacks on Lawrence VanDyke are damning evidence, not as the ABA claims, of his disqualification, but of the ABA’s partisan destruction of its own credibility.
Lawrence VanDyke was the subject of a scathing letter from the American Bar Association, sent to committee leadership Tuesday night, which alleged that people they interviewed expressed this concern, and that VanDyke himself “would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community.”
“I did not say that,” VanDyke told Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tears welling up in his eyes.
“No, I did not say that. I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God. They should all be treated with dignity and respect, senator,” he added, sobbing.
VanDyke also said that he was not given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations during his ABA interview. He said when he was confronted with the concerns about his views, he began to answer but was told they were running out of time.
That interview was conducted by Marcia Davenport, the lead evaluator. Hawley noted that Davenport once contributed to the campaign of a judicial candidate who was running against VanDyke.
“I find that absolutely unbelievable,” Hawley said, stating it “probably explains the totally ad hominem nature of this disgraceful letter.”
“Mr. VanDyke’s accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules,” it said, explaining why despite his professional and academic experience, they gave him a “Not Qualified” rating. “There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an ‘entitlement’ temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful.”
This isn’t an assessment, it’s a set of personal attacks.
If the ABA wants to put forward #resistance garbage like this, that is its privilege. But there’s nothing non-partisan about partisan political attacks. This is not a demonstration of expertise, but partisan rage against a Trump nominee thinly disguised as criticism.
It’s not a judicial evaluation.
The ABA’s Not Qualified ratings have become badges of honor.