The American Bar Association (ABA) is being accused of a political hit job over a judicial nominee who broke down in tears during a congressional hearing.
Lawrence VanDyke has been nominated for the 9th Circuit but a critical letter from the ABA's Standing Committee claims that VanDyke would not be fair on the bench to the LGBT community.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, in fact, was informed by the ABA that it rated VanDyke “Not Qualified” for the nomination.
Citing the nominee’s long record of legal work as solicitor general in both Montana and Nevada, among other accomplishment, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said this week if that VanDyke is not qualified for a federal bench, then who is.
“This is an individual” Lee said, “who graduated with high honors from Harvard Law School; who clerked for a very prestigious respected judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; who has served as the solicitor general for two states; who has argued 24 cases, handled the oral argument in 24 appellate cases in courts of appeals; has appeared as counsel of record in 39 briefs before the United States Supreme Court; and has been involved in literally hundreds of appellate arguments."
Mike Davis, and attorney who leads the Article III Project, told the “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” radio program that the ABA conducted a “political drive-by shooting” on a qualified nominee.
Using his Twitter account, Davis alleged the ABA "falsely claimed" that VanDyke would not state affirmatively he would be fair to LGBT litigants but actually did tell ABA evaluator Marcia Davenport that he would do so.
VanDyke, in fact, represented the group "Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty" in a 2010 amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, Davis wrote.
Sen. Lee and Davis have pointed out that Davenport publicly supported a past political opponent of the embattled nominee.
Davis told the radio show that Davenport donated to the opponent in 2014 in a race for the Montana Supreme Court.
“And the ABA,” David said, "didn't disclose this in the letter."
Davis also suggested in his Twitter posts that Davenport should be punished for providing false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a felony violation if proven true.