The American Bar Association has fallen to a new low in its hit job against well qualified Ninth Circuit Court Nominee Lawrence VanDyke. VanDyke has been the solicitor general in two different states — Nevada and Montana. He is highly regarded in the legal profession and well qualified to everyone except the ABA.
But there is a there, there.
The ABA has reviewers who decide if nominees are well qualified or unqualified. In 2014, VanDyke for the Montana Supreme Court against Michael Wheat. One of Wheat’s donors and supporters against VanDyke turns out to be Marcia Davenport. Who is she?
Davenport was the lead evaluator for the ABA on VanDyke.
Likewise, Davenport has a history of supporting pretty much anyone but Republicans, which suggests bias on her part beyond clearly having opposed VanDyke in the past.
The former President of the Nevada Bar Association Alan Lefebvre is blasting the ABA for this. In a statement, he said
It is a sorry day for the nomination process that the ABA letter’s uninformed and anonymous venom would be spudded on paper. Lawrence’s reputation for excellence in all he strives to do shines through by a sampling of his written product. Consider his success challenging the Obama administration’s overtime and “waters of the United States” rules, its DACA program, and its sage grouse land plan. And don’t forget he was the counsel of record on a multistate amicus brief opposing Missouri’s exclusion of churches from the Scrap Tire Program in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer before the Supreme Court. It would be impossible for a reviewer to challenge such a qualified nominee’s abilities unless he was yoked with an ideologue’s agenda.
Lefebvre also ended his membership with the ABA in protest.
Carrie Severino from the Judicial Crisis Network has more on the hack job done by the ABA.
The American Bar Association has shown itself often to oppose conservative jurists. Increasingly, the ABA has come out with unbridled hostility towards devoutly religious nominees. To now have the ABA allow someone who clearly has opposed a nominee to be the evaluator of the nominee just sets a new threshold for how far the ABA will go to oppose judicial nominees.