ABA Smears Van Dyke With Apocryphal Evaluation

The American Bar Association has shown bias so extreme that some of its leaders are leaving or complaining of their evaluation of Ninth Circuit nominee Lawrence VanDyke.  While some of their not-qualified rating is at best subjective and biased, some of it seems to be based on an outright subversion of what he said:


Professor Josh Blackman describes it thus:

Professor Chris Walker makes a couple great points on this:

Even if the “clearly fabricated” statement were true, the ABA committee should have reached out and would have heard:

And to be clear it was not one “fabricated” answer but the whole tone of the letter:

And Professor Walker is an ABA leader

The reality is the incident is not ultimately going to be about Lawrence VanDyke but about the ABA.  According to The Resurgent, the lead ABA “investigator” donated to his former opponent in a judicial election:

The American Bar Association has fallen to a new low in its hit job against well qualified Ninth Circuit Court Nominee Lawrence VanDyke. VanDyke has been the solicitor general in two different states — Nevada and Montana. He is highly regarded in the legal profession and well qualified to everyone except the ABA.

But there is a there, there.

The ABA has reviewers who decide if nominees are well qualified or unqualified. In 2014, VanDyke [ran] for the Montana Supreme Court against Michael Wheat. One of Wheat’s donors and supporters against VanDyke turns out to be Marcia Davenport. Who is she?

Davenport was the lead evaluator for the ABA on VanDyke.

Any objective observer would agree with the RNLA’s letter that VanDyke is well-qualified.  It seems that Professor Walker has it correct on the “clearly fabricated” answer on LGBT litigants.  The reality is the ABA evaluation calls into question not VanDyke's qualifications to be a judge but the ABA’s qualifications to objectively rate nominees.