Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Re: ABA Lobbying for Votes on Obama’s Judicial Nominees


A follow-up to my post from last week:

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuch Grassley have sent a strong letter responding to the ABA president’s recent letter urging Senate floor votes on particular appellate-court nominees. The bulk of their letter spells out their case that the situation on appellate-court nominees is at least as good as, “and in most respects much better” than, it was in June 2004 (when the “overall vacancy rate on our circuit courts was much higher than it is now”) and June 2008 (when the rate “was the same as it is now” but when “there were twice as many judicial emergencies in the circuit courts”). All of which leads to:

The ABA presents itself to the public as a non-partisan, professional organization.  However, it has chosen to advocate for this Administration’s circuit court nominees in the few remaining months before this presidential election, when it chose not to do so before either of the last two presidential elections despite much more compelling circumstances.  This sort of selective advocacy is precisely why so many people question the ABA’s professed neutrality.


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