Bench Memos

ABA Testimony on Wallace Nomination—Part 7

A couple additional observations on the ABA committee’s bias against Wallace:


1.  I failed to note that the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights—of which Kim Askew, who investigated Wallace, is a trustee—served as plaintiffs’ counsel in the very Voting Rights Act case that Askew uses as her remarkably flimsy Exhibit A in support of her contention that Wallace is not committed to equal justice under law.  Thus, Askew was inevitably assessing (and should have been diligently probing) the weight and credibility of comments made by those associated with the same organization she serves as a trustee.  The case for her recusal would seem clear.


2.  Imagine this situation:  It’s 2017 and the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary has been taken over by conservatives.  A Democratic president nominates to an appellate court a distinguished lawyer who has strong ties to the Democratic party and who has a record of pro-abortion advocacy.  The ABA committee member assigned to conduct the investigation is on the board of a national pro-life organization that has litigated against the nominee, and the ABA committee chairman and the ABA president had publicly attacked the nominee in connection with his previous involvement in liberal causes.  The committee, acting on the investigating member’s recommendation, gives the nominee a rating of “not qualified”.  Wouldn’t everyone recognize that the process was unfair and that the rating was highly suspect? 


Back to reality:  Why isn’t the same conclusion obvious with respect to the ABA committee’s rating of Wallace?



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