This strikes me as a mini-scandal, reminiscent of the days when the American Bar Association played the discreditable role of liberal activist group on judicial nominations. In recent years the ABA has shaped up some and become more non-partisan. Yesterday, though, they reverted:
Republicans yesterday blamed bias for the American Bar Association’s decision to downgrade a Bush judicial nominee’s rating from “well-qualified” to “qualified,” before a second hearing demanded by Democrats.
A 14-member ABA committee changed Brett M. Kavanaugh’s rating last month in part because six members downgraded their rating from the last time the White House aide was reviewed, panel Chairman Steven Tober said.
No explanation, of course, as to what Kavanaugh has done since last year to cause six committee members to change their ratings.
Kavanaugh was interviewed on behalf of the ABA by a divorce lawyer named Marna S. Tucker, who then testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of the ABA. The Washington TImes has more on Ms. Tucker:
Ms. Tucker has donated more than $10,000 to Democratic candidates and causes, according to Federal Election Commission records at www.politicalmoneyline.com, a Web site that tracks campaign contributions. She has never given to Republicans, according to the site.
The Washington Post described her as a “prominent liberal” in 1991 and the following year noted her friendship with Hillary Rodham Clinton, now a Democratic senator from New York.
Ms. Tucker also is a founding member and board director of the National Women’s Law Center, an organization committed to abortion rights and other liberal causes.
It’s easy to see why the ABA chose her to represent the organization’s views before the Judiciary Committee. The Washington Post reports on Kavanaugh’s “contentious” hearing today here.
PAUL adds: Hillary Clinton is the Democrat most bent on blocking Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation due to Kavanaugh’s service on Ken Starr’s staff. Thus, the ABA not only gave a lead role in its latest consideration of Kavanaugh to a liberal partisan, it gave that role to an ally of Kavanaugh’s primary Senate enemy.
In doing so, the ABA has squandered any credibility it perhaps regained by being on better behavior recently. And probably for naught — Kavanuagh likely will be confirmed.
Readers should also check out the Post’s coverage of Kavanaugh’s hearing. Charles Babington’s piece, linked by John above, reads more like a partisan brief against Kavanaugh than a good faith attempt to report on the hearing.