The American Bar Association has voted unanimously to grant Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch its highest rating as “well qualified” to join the Supreme Court.
In yesterday’s press release ABA President Linda A. Klien said, “The ABA’s independent Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has evaluated the professional qualifications of nominees to the Supreme Court for more than 60 years.” Klein continued, “The ABA remains uniquely qualified to review the professional qualifications of nominees and hopes to assist the Senate make as informed a decision as possible about these critically important appointments.”
The association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has forwarded its rating to the Senate, White House, Department of Justice and the nominee.
Nancy Scott Degan, the chairwoman of ABA’s standing committee, wrote a letter on Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee which stated, “After an exhaustive evaluation process, the Committee has determined by unanimous vote that Judge Gorsuch is ‘Well Qualified’ for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R.-Iowa responded to Degan’s letter saying, “In light of Judge Grouch’s impeccable record, it’s hard to imagine any other result from the ABA’s consideration.”
Grassley also stated that Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. have both referred to the ABA’s judiciary evaluations of federal judicial nominations as the “gold standard”.
Following a meeting last month between Schumer and Gorsuch, the senator said he had “serious, serious concerns,” regarding the nominee’s qualifications.
In a January statement Leahy questioned Gorsuch’s ability to remain uninfluenced on the bench, “…the American people are justified to wonder whether Judge Gorsuch can truly be an independent justice.”
Schemer also alluded to the “nuclear option” whereby Senate rules could reduce the number of votes required to pass Gorsuch’s confirmation, “We Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process. There will be 60 votes for confirmation.”
Later, Schumer threatened to filibuster Gorsuch’s hearings in an op-ed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. has stated, “I’m very confident that we will be confirmed. If we have to get 60 votes, I’m confident we will.”
McConnell told Politico he is confident that Gorsuch will be confirmed prior to the Senate’s recess on Apr. 7.
The ABA’s statement will become public record during Gorsuch’s Senate confirmation hearings which are scheduled to begin Mar. 20.
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