Bench Memos

Still Waiting on the ABA’s “Evaluation”

Last month the American Bar Association announced that it would “evaluate” Merrick Garland’s qualifications for the Supreme Court (as if the results weren’t foreordained). The National Law Journal broke the news on April 15, about a month after the nomination was announced, and reported that the process was already “ongoing.” But the article also mentioned that the “evaluation” process usually takes 30-45 days from the date of the nomination, which would have meant a release at the end of April at the latest. We’re now a month beyond that and the “evaluation” is still nowhere to be found. Garland’s record isn’t any more voluminous or complicated than that of other nominees in recent history, so why is the ABA stalling?

Easy: They’re taking orders from the White House. The ABA won’t release the “evaluation” until it’s politically advantageous to the Administration’s confirmation effort, such as when Congress goes home for a recess or just before the Democrats’ next big political push. Either way, it’s clear that the uber-liberal ABA is carrying water for its uber-liberal political allies.

None of this should surprise us anymore. The ABA’s unbelievably partisan record over the last 35 years has been well documented. Its most recent misdeeds range from ignoring its own evaluation criteria for the purpose of boosting ratings of favored Democratic nominees to systematically inflating ratings of Democratic nominees and loudly endorsing far-left policy positions.

Aspiring presidents, take note: Stripping the ABA of its undeserved position in the nomination process will reassure those of us who watch judicial issues closely.

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