Bench Memos

ABA Again Stiffs Specter on Wallace Nomination

In addition to simply ignoring Chairman Specter’s request that the Senate Judiciary Committee receive the ABA report on Mike Wallace’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit, Stephen Tober, chairman of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, has failed to live up to his express promise to Specter.  In his June 30 letter, Tober told Specter that the ABA “will certainly comply with the Judiciary Committee’s rules” and provide its testimony on Wallace “48 hours in advance of” the hearing.  Tober further assured Specter that “we will do our best” to provide the testimony “more than 48 hours in advance.”  Tober’s statements responded to Specter’s observations that nominees “deserve time to prepare a response to whatever allegations you may raise in your testimony” and that

“[w]aiting until twenty-four hours before the hearings neither gives the nominees the opportunity to respond, nor does it give Members of the Judiciary Committee adequate time to prepare.”

 

Wallace’s hearing is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, so the 48-hour mark passed at 2:15 this afternoon.  As of 5 p.m., a Senate Judiciary staffer tells me that the ABA has still not submitted its testimony. 

 

On matters large and small, the ABA committee simply can’t be trusted to do what it says it will do (or to have done what it says it has done) and to accord fairness to nominees it dislikes.  (For further recent evidence, see the ABA’s false statements in connection with the Kavanaugh and Wallace nominations and its abusive treatment of Kavanaugh’s nomination.)

 

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