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ABA: Alito "well qualified"
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Now if the argument is that the job of the Senate is to determine whether the nominee for a position on the United States Supreme Court is qualified to hold it, and if the Senate has previously used the American Bar Association's rating of potential justices as an strong indication in that regard, it would appear that Samuel Alito's confirmation should be a piece of cake:
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito received a unanimous well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association on Wednesday, giving his nomination momentum as the Senate prepares for confirmation hearings next week.

The rating came after a vote of an ABA committee and will be delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will launch Alito's confirmation hearings on Monday. Alito will face almost an hour of questioning from each of the 18 senators on the committee.

The ABA rating — the highest — is the same that Alito received back in 1990, when President Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, nominated him to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
While the ABA has no official standing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, its ratings, in the past, have been considered to be important in assessing a nominee's qualifications for the high court. "Well qualified" is the highest of the three ratings the ABA issues. Chief Justice John Roberts received the same ABA rating.

So, it will be interesting to see how certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee interpret their job in the role of "advise and consent". That is, whether it is to find the best qualified justice for the position (as most officially claim), or, rather, to find the justice which most appeals to their ideological bias.
 
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While the ABA has no official standing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, however its ratings are considered to be important in assessing a nominee’s qualifications for the high court
Not by the Bush administration, i.e., the nominating party.

Here is what the California Bar Journal said in 2001 about the Bush administraiton and the ABA and its ratings for nominees:
Indicating it no longer wants to continue what it called a “preferential arrangement,” the Bush administration last month ended the half century-long practice of allowing the American Bar Association to evaluate federal judicial candidates prior to their nomination.

In a letter to ABA President Martha Barnett, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales said, “The question is whether the ABA should play a unique, quasi-official role and then have its voice heard before and above all others. We do not think that kind of preferential arrangement is either appropriate or fair.”

The ABA’s role in evaluating potential candidates has long irritated conservative lawmakers, who find the legal group’s views too liberal. They were particularly embittered by the 1987 Senate rejection of Robert H. Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. In recent years, Con-gressional Republicans have pushed for candidates to the federal bench who will not take an “activist” role.

The bar association has been evaluating potential judges since 1948, when it began to advise the Senate. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhow-er invited the ABA to provide ratings of candidates’ professional qualifications in order to insulate the selection process from political pressure.

Barnett defended the ABA’s track record, saying charges that the screening committee has a bias against Republic nominees are false. She also disputed Bush legal advisors’ view that the ABA evaluation committee provides the only voice about potential nominees. Rather, she said, it represents “all segments of the legal profession in all areas of the country. . . . It is a mystery why the administration would not want this input.”

Barnett said prospective candidates are evaluated solely on the basis of competence, integrity and temperament. The committee “does not consider ideology or political views of candidates and never has,” she said.
So while it looks the ABA rated Alito highly, it also appears to not make a difference to the Bush administration.

Oh, and as for those complaints that the ABA’s ratings system is biased against conservative nominees, looks like another in a long line of winger myths. First Roberts, then Alito. Oh, and not that it matters to wingers, the ABA gave the same rating to Bork.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Well, we already pretty much figured he was in fact qualified. ALl this does is give the notion an ’official’ word. It makes it slightly harder for the Democrats to object to Alito, IF someone takes the time to remind them that their role IS in fact to determine his qualifications.

Facts making arguments harder for Democrats, by no means makes them impossible, as they’ve demonstrated all too often previously. Bork being an example.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Weren’t Bork and Thomas also well-qualified, according to the ABA?
And weren’t many of the filibustered Appeals justices well-qualified? Really, I thought the precedent that the Democrat Senators ignore judicial qualifications was already well-established.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
Oh, and as for those complaints that the ABA’s ratings system is biased against conservative nominees, looks like another in a long line of winger myths. First Roberts, then Alito. Oh, and not that it matters to wingers, the ABA gave the same rating to Bork.
Good God, mk, are you really stupid enough to believe what you wrote? A bias against a group doesn’t mean that all members of that group are excluded. The claim was that the ABA tended to favor more liberal judges not that it denounced all conservative judges. You cite three examples and think that disproves a trend.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
Question: If Alito said at his hearing that Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided, would he render himself unqualified? Stated another way, if a nominee is a Harvard grad at the top of his class, has a long and distinguished career on the appellate bench, and has brilliant legal reasoning skills, but still takes a radical, out-of-the mainstream position on a settled constitutional precdent, does he disqualify himself?

Shorter version: If Alito showed up at his hearing wearing a Klan robe, would it be permissible for Dems to vote against him, notwithstanding his qualifications?

Just wondering.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Good God, mk, are you really stupid enough to believe what you wrote? A bias against a group doesn’t mean that all members of that group are excluded. The claim was that the ABA tended to favor more liberal judges not that it denounced all conservative judges. You cite three examples and think that disproves a trend.
Ok - show me one nominee whose rating tends to show that ABA is biased. I won’t even require you to prove a trend. Just one.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Shorter version: If Alito showed up at his hearing wearing a Klan robe, would it be permissible for Dems to vote against him, notwithstanding his qualifications?

Only if they’d vote Bobby Byrd out of the Senate for being a klansman as well, not withstanding his qualifications, of course.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Question: If Alito said at his hearing that Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided, would he render himself unqualified?
I’m quite sure that’s the argument you’d make... particularly when you start breaking out the allusions to the KKK.... without mentioning Rbt Byrd, and HIS qualifications for HIS office.

NEXT!



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
( ^5, McQ )
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Only if they’d vote Bobby Byrd out of the Senate for being a klansman as well, not withstanding his qualifications, of course.
I’m quite sure that’s the argument you’d make... particularly when you start breaking out the allusions to the KKK.... without mentioning Rbt Byrd, and HIS qualifications for HIS office.
Once again, I am proposing a hypotehtical question to get at a deeper issue, namely, whether ideology can ever be taken into consideration in the judicial nomination process. Both of these knuckleheaded responses - knee jerk in the extreme - suggest that I am saying that Alito IS a Klan member. I am not. I am simply trying to see what your principles are, if any.

It’s the same thing when it comes to debating the limits on executive power. Simply because one tries to gauge what they should be, or whether there should be any at all, does not mean one is a member of Al Qaeda. But that’s the typical winger reaction when that subject comes up.

Of course, these reactions tend to confirm everything I have long suspected about wingers - that most are incapable of higher reasoning. Rather than engage in the kind of reasoning that itself leads to an examination of the principles underlying the dispute in question, and that hopefully furthers the debate in a meaningful way, I get the "so’s ya mutha" type responses.

Channeling Bush perhaps? Who knows.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Once again, I am proposing a hypotehtical question to get at a deeper issue, namely, whether ideology can ever be taken into consideration in the judicial nomination process.

And you got a hypothetical answer.

That’s the worth of hypothetical quesions which border on hyperbole.

If you’d like to amend your question to one which is a little more like reality, who knows, someone may answer in kind.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So answer the question:

Should ideology ever be taken into consideration in the nomination process?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Should ideology ever be taken into consideration in the nomination process?

Into consideration?

Yes.

As the sole critieria for a yea or nay.

No.



 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Once again, I am proposing a hypotehtical question to get at a deeper issue, namely, whether ideology can ever be taken into consideration in the judicial nomination process. Both of these knuckleheaded responses - knee jerk in the extreme - suggest that I am saying that Alito IS a Klan member. I am not. I am simply trying to see what your principles are, if any.
McQ will correct me if I’m wrong, but nother of us suggested you were doing anything more than hypothetically. But you’re suggesting that such membership would make Alito unqualified. And without getting into the specifics, I suppose you could make that argument. I don’t know as I agree with it, but that for another time.

But to attempt such an argument in light of Byrd’s membership, and your continued support of the man, is at the least an unprincipled stand.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Wait. Isn’t the bigger picture here that MKUltra freely admits Senate Democrats don’t care whether a nominee is well-qualified or not?
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
Should ideology ever be taken into consideration in the nomination process?
That’s a very good question. Ted Kennedy once said that it was "offensive to suggest" that judicial philosophy was on trial in confirmation hearings. The problem with taking ideology and judicial philosophy into consideration is that, once you’ve acceded to that, there’s no clear line on where to stop. Should we block nominees for being racist? What about for having religious beliefs outside the mainstream? Should they be blocked on account of the political opinions and affiliations? And if that’s acceptable, why not block anybody who disagrees with your politics?

I’ve long held that the Senate should be a backstop to prevent the President from nominating criminals, the unqualified or cronies. Otherwise, the President should get his nominee.

What is your position?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
If the right, as a rule, thought ideology should taken into consideration in the nomination process, Ruth Bader Ginzburg would not be a member of the USSC.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Alito aptly qualified... the democrats, well...

Let us call an “ace an ace” and a “spade a spade.” In opposing Judge Alito the leading democrats show lack of loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. Their reasoning would have them opposing most Supreme Court Justices, through history. Over 90% of all justices who served on the court were professing Christians. They upheld the wording of the U.S. Constitution without adding to it as have the more recent liberal activist judges. One can point out the various cases where the liberal activist judges have ignored or added to the U.S. Constitution to make it say what it does not. I have yet to hear of a “Conservative Judge” that can be accused of the same.
By the way, the use of the terms “Conservative Judges” and “Liberal Judges” are interesting. Using the labels of today and those of conservatives by the Democrat leaders nearly all the Judges up until recently would be called “Conservative.” If conservative is wrong for the bench then we as a nation have been wrong for over two hundred years.
Judge Alito has been shown to be no more or less, than aptly qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Roger W Hancock
www.PoetPatriot.com
 
Written By: Roger W Hancock
URL: http://www.PoetPatriot.com

 
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