American Bar Association: Kavanaugh Confirmation Should Be Delayed Until After FBI Investigation

Brett Kavanaugh denies sexual assault allegations in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee
© POOL/AFP Andrew Harnik

The American Bar Association has called on the Senate to delay Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court until after the FBI completes “an appropriate background check” regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations.

“We make this request because of the ABA’s respect for the rule of law and due process under law,” ABA President Robert Carlson wrote to Iowa Republican and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

“The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI,” Carlson said. “Each appointment to our nation’s Highest Court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote.”

Previously, the ABA unanimously rated Kavanaugh as “well qualified” for a position in the Supreme Court. “For 12 years, everyone who has appeared before me on the D.C. Circuit has praised my judicial temperament,” Kavanaugh said in Thursday’s hearing. “That’s why I have the unanimous well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association.”

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also cited the ABA’s confidence in Kavanaugh on Thursday. “If you lived a good life people will recognize it, like the American Bar Association has — the gold standard,” he said. “His integrity is absolutely unquestioned.”

Kavanaugh has asserted his feelings regarding the allegations and the delay of his confirmation in a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, calling the process “a national disgrace.” Republican Arizona Senator Jeff Flake — the likely swing vote in Kavanaugh’s nomation — earlier announced today that he will vote to confirm but then said he wanted a limited FBI investigation of Ford’s claims before a final vote.

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