Well, let me give credit where credit is due.
It’s rare, if not unprecedented, that the ABA’s judicial-evaluations committee exceeds my expectations. But it has done so in awarding Second Circuit nominee Steven Menashi its highest rating of “well qualified.”*
As the ABA committee’s Backgrounder explains, in order to receive a “well qualified” rating, a nominee “must be at the top of the legal profession in his or her legal community; have outstanding legal ability, breadth of experience, and the highest reputation for integrity; and demonstrate the capacity for sound judicial temperament.” Given the smears that Menashi has been subjected to, I will highlight that in evaluating a nominee’s judicial temperament, the committee considers the nominee’s “freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice under the law.” Let’s hope that the ABA’s rating puts an end to the smears.
Menashi’s confirmation hearing takes place tomorrow.
* A majority of the committee rated Menashi “well qualified,” while a minority rated him “qualified.” As the committee’s letter states, “The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.”