[The ABA's] biased reviews of Trump’s judicial nominees are increasingly showing that the qualifications and accomplishments of Republicans, conservatives and libertarians do not outweigh political views which are distasteful to the ABA.Mr. Lycan describes the signs of bias in the ABA's review of Steven Grasz, a well-respected nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit who has had a distinguished career. Just two examples of inappropriate questioning by reviewers who are supposed to be, and claim to be, neutral:
While ostensibly reviewing his professional qualifications as a lawyer, the ABA reviewers questioned why Grasz’s children attended a religious school. . . . [T]he reviewers began referring to Mr. Grasz as “You people.” When Grasz asked what they meant by “You people” — an ambiguous, exclusionary, and outright derogatory term — the reviewers said they were referring to conservatives and Republicans.Mr. Lycan concludes by questioning whether the ABA's true goal is excluding conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans from the practice of law:
Any effective lawyer — not just judges — must separate personal opinions from what the law requires as a fundamental part of the practice of law. . . . Under the ABA’s standard, no conservative or libertarian would be able to serve as a judge, or maybe even practice law. The ABA thinks that a conservative’s or libertarian’s views take over a person’s thinking to such an extent that the person cannot think objectively about anything. And the person cannot even recognize his or her lack of objectivity.
This may show the ABA’s endgame: to eliminate conservatives and libertarians from the legal profession. There are other ways the ABA, in cooperation with state bar associations, is moving toward that goal, from suppressing speech by lawyers that the ABA disagrees with to different ethical standards being applied to conservative and liberal lawyers. As is starting to happen in other fields, Republican, conservative, and libertarian lawyers may soon need to fight for the right to engage in their chosen profession without abandoning their deeply held beliefs. And that is truly disturbing.We are grateful to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley for not allowing the ABA's shameful rating of Mr. Grasz to prevent his consideration by the Senate. Chairman Grassley has scheduled a hearing for Mr. Grasz for next Wednesday, November 29. As Senators Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse pointed out last week, the ABA's actions demonstrate that it is a liberal advocacy group advancing a liberal agenda on judicial nominations, and the Senate leadership is wise not to allow the ABA to veto qualified nominees.