Did the American Bar Association violate their own policies when attacking Montana's former Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke?

VanDyke is President Trump's nominee to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, GOP Senators on Capitol Hill called out the ABA for a last-minute attack on VanDyke featuring an evaluation that was led by a lawyer who donated to one of VanDyke's former political opponents.

The Washington Examiner has this:

Cato Institute Legal Scholar Ilya Shapiro tweeted, “Surprise, surprise: [The ABA] violated its own policies in rating VanDyke. I still don't see why one interest group gets privileged over all the others in this process.”

Other attorneys interviewed by the ABA are also telling Fox News that they were shocked by the ABA's evaluation of VanDyke:


"Absolutely outrageous and couldn't be further from the truth," is how former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt described the characterizations in the ABA's letter. VanDyke served as state solicitor general under Laxalt, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for governor last year, from 2015 to 2019.

As a reminder to just how significant VanDyke's nomination is to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, here is information from The Daily Caller that I shared shortly after VanDyke was nominated.

  • If the Senate confirms the president’s remaining nominees, the 9th Circuit will have 16 Democrat-appointed judges and 13 Republican appointees, as compared to an 18-to-seven split when Trump took office.

  • The president named two more 9th Circuit nominees, Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke, on Friday.

Read More: How Significant is the VanDyke 9th Circuit Nomination? | https://newstalk955.com/how-significant-is-the-vandyke-9th-circuit-nomination/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral



An unbelievable, shameful attack on a good man. That's how US Senators described the attack on former Montana Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke by the biased American Bar Association (ABA). VanDyke has been nominated by President Trump to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to Fox News, VanDyke was personally attacked by the ABA, which claimed VanDyke "would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community." He res

"I did not say that," VanDyke told Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tears welling up in his eyes.

"No, I did not say that. I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God. They should all be treated with dignity and respect, senator," he added, sobbing.

Can we trust this baseless, personal attack from the ABA on VanDyke? Of course not. As Hiram Sasser writes in his op-ed now posted at FoxNews.com, the panel that was supposedly "evaluating" VanDyke for the ABA was incredibly biased from the start.

Marcia Davenport led VanDyke’s evaluation for the ABA. That’s significant because she donated directly to VanDyke’s political opponent when he ran for the Montana Supreme Court. Indeed, not one of her political donations landed in the campaign coffers of a Republican.

And, as Carrie Severino reports, the ABA team relied on statements from Michael Black, the chief of the Civil Division Bureau of the Montana Department of Justice, who “publicly opposed VanDyke when he ran for the Montana Supreme Court, launching personal attacks against VanDyke.”

VanDyke graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Janice Rogers Brown on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit before launching his appellate career.  VanDyke has the distinction of having served as both the solicitor general of Montana and Nevada, where he oversaw every important case affecting those states. He has argued over 20 appeals in the federal circuit courts (most in the Ninth Circuit) and has been the counsel of record on 28 briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawrence VanDyke is one of the standout appellate litigators of his generation.

Nonetheless, the ABA has made the astonishing determination that VanDyke is “Not Qualified.”  Consider for a moment the absurdity of that conclusion applied to someone who would be the only circuit judge to have served as the chief appellate litigator of two states—and one with major victories under his belt.

Video with Senator Josh Hawley:

Video with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT):

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