President Trump's 9th Circuit Court Court of Appeals nominee Lawrence VanDyke was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday.
Congratulations to JUDGE LAWRENCE VANDYKE on being confirmed to the Ninth Circuit. Great job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2019
“I am thrilled to see that Lawrence VanDyke has been confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit," Hiram Sasser, General Counsel for First Liberty Institute, said in a statement. "I was privileged to watch his first oral argument as a young attorney when he volunteered his time to work with First Liberty Institute. There are few better legal minds in the country today. I congratulate Lawrence and his family for their patience and perseverance to this great achievement.”
VanDyke prevailed despite the efforts of The American Bar Association. In a rather biased memo about the nominee in October, the ABA concluded he was "not qualified" because his former colleagues had characterized him as, “arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules."
The thing was, the ABA failed to hear out the colleagues who had nothing but praise for him. Colleagues like Ashley Johnson. In the mere five minutes the ABA gave her on the phone, Johnson shared that VanDyke was "an excellent lawyer who would make a fantastic judge." But her assessment apparently didn't make it into the ABA's final analysis.
None of it was a surprise to the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, which has documented the ABA's long history of partisan behavior.
Progressives had other hangups about VanDyke, including his supposed anti-LGBT bigotry. At one of his hearings, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) shared some of those accusations. VanDyke tearfully explained that he has always tried to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Lawrence VanDyke brought to tears because of the shameful and false accusation by the @ABAesq that he holds animus toward the LGBT community. Thank you to @SenHawleyPress for highlighting this injustice. The ABA has lost all credibility for trying to destroy this good man’s life. pic.twitter.com/4ARyHvw3Zu— Gregory T. Angelo (@gregorytangelo) October 30, 2019
VanDyke is one of two judicial nominees confirmed to the Ninth Circuit this week, as noted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The other being Patrick Bumatay of California.
"Mr. Bumatay is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law," McConnell shared on the Senate floor on Thursday. "He’s clerked for the Eastern District of New York and the 10th Circuit, practiced in the private sector, and served in a variety of roles with the Department of Justice.
"Mr. Van Dyke graduated from Montana State University and Harvard Law. His career has included a clerkship with the DC Circuit, time as a state Solicitor General, and service as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at DOJ.
"Each of these jurists is well qualified. Each has widespread respect from their legal peers. And now they are the 49th and 50th circuit judges nominated by President Trump and confirmed by this Senate in the last three years."