Ruling Out the ABA on Judges
The Wall Street Journal
November 14, 2017
If Republicans are serious about getting President Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed, they will have to rid themselves of the fiction of a politically neutral American Bar Association. The outfit’s recent antics provide ample reason to remove it from Senate vetting.
The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary last week informed the Judiciary Committee that Brett Talley is “not qualified” to serve as a federal judge.
Many nominees have been younger than Mr. Talley, and the ABA called Barack Obama nominee Goodwin Liu “well-qualified” despite no experience as a trial judge. The ABA also called Elena Kagan “well qualified” for the Supreme Court, as indeed she was, despite her lack of trial experience. But since the ABA found nothing amiss with Mr. Talley’s “integrity” or “temperament,” it settled on a concern with “requisite” experience.
In an August letter to Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, [five U.S. Senators] outlined the ABA’s long history of political liberal activism, and noted their concerns with the Senate outsourcing advice and consent to “unaccountable outside groups.” They also pointed out how useless ABA ratings are, given the number of judges who have been judged “not qualified” but were confirmed and have had distinguished bench careers.