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ABA panel nixed Obama’s judge candidates

UPDATED AND CORRECTED: Because sometimes this blogger writes a little too early in the morning before her eyes are fully working properly, this blog post erroneously stated that more than 90 percent of suggested federal judge nominees received the poorest rating from the ABA vetting panel. It was actually the reverse – more than 90 percent did not receive that rating. DC Dicta regrets the error.

The vast majority of the Obama administration’s potential judicial nominees were rejected before they reached the nomination stage – all due to poor ratings by the American Bar Association.

The New York Times reports that the ABA’s judicial vetting committee gave more than 90 percent of the president’s proposed federal judgeship candidates ratings of “not qualified.” Correction: the committee gave 14 or 185 judge candidates the rating of “not qualified.”

In three years, the committee has already given the lowest rating to more potential Obama nominees than it gave to potential nominees during the eight-year administrations of President Bill Clinton or President George W. Bush, according to the Times report.

The identities of the particular nominees who were rejected has not been disclosed, but according to the sources cited in the Times report, most were women or members of minority groups. The Obama administration has expressed a policy goal to diversify the benches of the nation’s federal courts.

Obama’s White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, said in a statement: “Although we may not agree with all of their ratings, we respect and value their historical role in evaluating judicial candidates. The president remains committed to addressing the judicial vacancy crisis with urgency and with qualified candidates who bring a diverse range of experience to the bench.”

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