“I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine. I’ll endorse you, you make my idiot son-in-law a federal judge.”
Biden’s nominee to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas withdrew his name from consideration late Tuesday, marking the second time in two years that his nomination to the federal bench failed to get through the Senate.
Jabari Wamble, who has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Kansas since 2011, was first nominated to serve as a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August of last year. His nomination never made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee and he was instead nominated for the district court, a step down, in February.
Wamble is the son-in-law of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat who was an early supporter of Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Nominating unqualified appointees, including federal judges, is nothing new for Biden. Everyone has seen videos of his judicial nominees who are unable to answer basic questions about the Constitution and the law.
But even in that bunch, Jabari stood out. How do you know?
Aides were under the impression that the American Bar Association would rate Wamble “not qualified” for the nomination, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke candidly on condition of anonymity.
The ABA’s bias is notorious. Qualified Republican judges are rated as not qualified and unqualified Democrat judges are rated as qualified. Jabari had to be doing pretty badly for the ABA to sadly shake its head even in this era of peak affirmative action, equity and political influence. Instead, the ABA fidgeted and hoped Wamble got the hint.
The group, which conducts independent peer evaluations of judges, never issued a rating on Wamble’s circuit court nomination. As of Tuesday, it was still reviewing Wamble for the district court position, even though it had already rated several nominees after him.
Not a courtesy if extends to the political opposition.
Wamble was also involved in a case where the U.S. Attorney’s office was held in contempt of court for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the extent in which prosecutors accessed confidential phone calls between attorneys and clients at Leavenworth Detention Center, a federal prison which was managed by private contractor CoreCivic.
Over the course of the case, Wamble offered conflicting statements regarding how he handled a recording where he recognized the voice of Christian Cox, an attorney who at the time was representing Brenda Wood, a client charged with 26 counts related to fraud.
I guess Wamble will have to wait until Rep. Cleaver steps down and then tries to hand him his job.