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Political Editors / November 1, 2019

ABA Trashes Another Judicial Nominee

The group called Lawrence VanDyke “Not Qualified” and hinted at his supposed “bigotry.”

Leftists long ago understood the importance of a like-minded judiciary — which is why they’re no longer content to merely oppose conservative judicial nominees. These days, their goal is to personally destroy them. Such is the sad case yet again with Lawrence VanDyke, the man President Donald Trump nominated for a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court — a court Trump is effectively reshaping.

In vigorous opposition to Trump is the American Bar Association (ABA), a leftist judicial organization known for “scoring” nominees for the bench. Often hailed by Chuck Schumer and other Democrats as the “gold standard” for judicial evaluation, the group has essentially become the Southern Poverty Law Center of judicial activism. Thus, it recently tarred VanDyke as “Not Qualified,” just as it once did to Robert Bork.

VanDyke, the ABA argued in its two page assessment, “is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules.” Worse, ABA said, VanDyke may be a bigot, warning that he “would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community.”

First of all, the idea that any judicial nominee would hesitate to say he’d be fair to any litigant is absurd. Yet asked during confirmation hearings if the ABA’s allegation was correct, VanDyke was moved to tears. “I did not say that. I do not believe that,” he insisted, before adding, “It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God and they should all be treated with dignity and respect.”

Indeed, as The Resurgent’s Matthew Monforton writes, “VanDyke has represented LGBT clients, including before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The ABA is hardly alone in smearing constitutional constructionists, but the group enjoys special access for evaluation, and it’s clearly time to revoke that privilege. Republican senators Mike Lee and Josh Hawley are bent on making it happen.

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