ABA review of judicial nominations again comes under fire

Josh Blackman, at The Atlantic and Volokh Conspiracy, has the tale of how in the nomination of conservative Ninth Circuit nominee Lawrence Van Dyke, the American Bar Association (ABA) appears to have played fast and loose with the interview process, breaking its own rules along the way. Given “that the ABA cannot be trusted to accurately recount the conversations” resulting from its inquiries, Blackman proposes that in future “these interrogations should be treated as hostile depositions. A court reporter and videographer should be present, as well as private retained counsel to push back on unfounded accusations.”


  • If anyone wants to see a specific example of how skewed the ABA process is, compare and contrast the ratings of Sixth Circuit judges Clay (WQ) and Sutton (Q). Then look at the Bobby v. Bies case at the US Supreme Court. To say that WQ Clay got benchsmacked is an understatement. And Sutton’s analysis was praised.

    One could also look at the ABA rating of Judge Wardlaw of the Ninth Circuit. She was rated WQ/Q, and she has authored four, count ’em four, opinions that have been summarily reversed by the US Supreme Court.

    While we are on the subject of judges, did anyone else catch Liptak’s NY Times article regarding Clinton’s interview with RBG prior to her nomination? Would be interesting to compare Clinton’s statements at the Georgetown Law talk with Ginsburg’s SJC testimony and her answers to the SJC questionnaire.

  • A better question is why are we paying attention to the ABA at all?