The American Bar Association, an organization historically accused of liberal bias, has given President Donald J. Trump's most recent Supreme Court nominee a unanimous well-qualified rating according to their report released today.
The American Bar Association has long been known for its liberal biases while giving out ratings of well-qualified, qualified, or not qualified for federally nominated judges. In 2009, President Obama restored the associations status which allowed it receives early information on soon-to-be federally nominated judges. The theory was that the ABA, which is supposed to be ideologically neutral, could then rank these nominated judges with the aforementioned score guide to help guide senators in whether or not they supported a nominee for a federal judgeship.
At the time during President Obama's first year in office, studies found "indications that liberal nominees do better in the process than conservative ones. The latest, to be presented next month at the Midwest Political Science Association, found evidence consistent with ideological bias.
'Holding all other factors constant,' the study found, 'those nominations submitted by a Democratic president were significantly more likely to receive higher A.B.A. ratings than nominations submitted by a Republican president.'"
Over the next eight years, their bias was so bad that Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) penned an op-ed haranguing the association for pretending to be neutral when in reality they are anything but and encouraging fellow senators ti ignore their recommendations.
"The ABA cannot take blatantly liberal positions on the one hand and then masquerade as a neutral party on the other and then demand a special seat at the table in the Senate Judiciary Committee and in the Senate, in this body, to try to tell us who is and isn’t supposedly qualified to be a judge.
Just like the ABA has every right to advance its liberal policy positions, every senator has the right and indeed the duty to give our advice and consent on judicial nominees.
If senators decide that they like and value the ABA’s policy positions and they like and value the ABA’s ratings, they are free to give them due deference and consideration. But don’t hide behind it. Don’t pretend that the ABA is something that it is not. Do not ignore the facts of what the ABA has become. The American people deserve honesty, not thinly veiled partisanship."
Regardless of their bias, the ABA has now given Brett Kavanaugh the association's highest possible ranking. The president's previous Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, also received this ranking. One might say that the fact his two nominations to the highest court to all the land would indicate that the ABA is actually moving towards a more neutral position in how it "judges" America's judicial nominations. But regardless if that is true, progressives have long argued that President Trump's nominees' qualifications do not matter. Here's what Eric Levitz of the Daily Intelligencer had to say:
"If the Democrats are to function as an effective check on the creeping threat of perpetual minority rule in the United States, they will need to recognize that deference to institutional norms does not always fortify our republic — but rather, can actually jeopardize its survival. To subordinate substantive concerns about Brett Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence to the president’s prerogative to appoint “qualified” Supreme Court justices is not to subordinate myopic ideological preferences to liberal democratic values — it is to subordinate liberal democratic values to reverence for established norms and customs."
Whatever the case, ABA-approved or not, Kavanaugh's record shows he certainly well qualified for the position.