A “substantial majority” of the American Bar Association (ABA) committee responsible for evaluating judges has rated Judge Amy Coney Barrett “well qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court.
Politico obtained the ABA’s letter to the committee:
Ahead of her confirmation hearing tomorrow, the ABA rates Amy Coney Barrett as “well qualified” pic.twitter.com/0iRQDvlpfd
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 12, 2020
The ABA also rated her “well qualified” in 2017, when she was nominated (and confirmed) to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
However, on that occasion, the ABA simply reported that a “majority” had found her “well qualified,” suggesting that the 2020 rating (“substantial majority”) is an improvement. In both cases, a minority of the ABA committee’s members found Barret to be merely “qualified.”
Democrats in particular consider the ABA ratings to be the “gold standard” of judicial nominations. But ABA ratings are playing less of a role in judicial confirmations than they once did, as the organization has been increasingly identified as left-of-center.
In 2018, the ABA unanimously found Brett Kavanaugh to be “well qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court. However, it later called for a new FBI background check of Kavanaugh after Democrats produced witnesses who accused him of sexual assault decades before in high school, though the accusations could not be corroborated. The ABA also said it would re-evaluate its positive evaluation of Kavanaugh after a contentious confirmation hearing in which he was forced to defend himself from the allegations — including unfounded claims that he had been a gang rapist — citing his “temperament.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.