Lawrence J.C. VanDyke openly wept on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee as he was confronted with a blistering review from the American Bar Association, which found that he was not qualified to serve on the federal courts after having been nominated by President Donald Trump.
The ABA, which can’t officially block nominees but whose recommendations are seen as carrying substantial weight, wrote of VanDyke:
Mr. VanDyke’s accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees thatMr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules. There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an “entitlement” temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful.
It also said some people interviewed in the assessment of VanDyke worried that he would not be “fair to
persons who are gay, lesbian, or otherwise part of the LGBTQ community.”
When confronted with these findings, which had been made public the previous night, VanDyke became emotional in the middle of the hearing and began crying. His face turned red.
Lawrence VanDyke brought to tears because of the shameful and false accusation by the @ABAesq that he holds animus toward the LGBT community. Thank you to @SenHawleyPress for highlighting this injustice. The ABA has lost all credibility for trying to destroy this good man’s life. pic.twitter.com/4ARyHvw3Zu
— Gregory T. Angelo (@gregorytangelo) October 30, 2019
“I do not believe that,” VanDyke said, referring to criticism of his views of LGBT people, according to CNN. “It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God.” He added that he thinks “they should all be treated with dignity and respect.”
VanDyke isn’t the first of Trump’s nominees to get strong pushback from the ABA. Law.com reported that nine of Trump’s nominees have been rated as “not qualified” for the federal bench by the organization. At least four of these nominees have been successfully confirmed nevertheless, while others have been blocked. The ABA’s rating process has been criticized by conservatives, who say the organization is biased against nominees who aren’t liberals.
Writing for the conservative National Review, Thomas Jipping wrote that of the ABA: “[It’s] reasonable to ask whether this consistently liberal organization can really be objective and non-political in its ratings of judicial nominees.” He called the devastating letter about VanDyke “another self-inflicted wound” for the organization.
Orin Kerr, a University of California law professor, noted on Twitter: “I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before, which I say realizing that some will say it shows how unqualified the [nominee] is, while others will say it shows how biased the ABA is. I don’t know which is true. But either way, it’s a remarkable letter.”
In the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) noted Wednesday that there have been many criticisms of the ABA review process, some of which he agrees with. In particular, he acknowledged that the ABA’s conclusions are opaque, and it doesn’t provide the background documentation of its investigations.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chair of the committee, said he agreed with these criticisms.
“We actually have something we can do about that,” Whitehouse said. “I’ve been on this committee awhile. ABA letters are always this way. They don’t give you the underlying backup. But what we do have here is some pretty darned serious concerns. And to just laugh them off, I don’t think is appropriate. I think we have a responsibility here. … We can resolve this by bringing in the ABA folks and letting them explain what the basis was for these charges.”
Protesters arrested after police raid Mohawk railway camp constructed in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en
Police moved in on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory demonstration as hundreds of people marched through downtown Ottawa.
At least 10 protesters were arrested Monday morning during a Canadian police raid on a Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory camp beside a railway near Belleville, Ontario, which was established on Feb. 6 in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en First Nation hereditary chiefs and land defenders who are trying to prevent a fracked gas pipeline from cutting through their unceded lands in British Columbia.
Trump blasted as ‘pathological liar’ for claiming stock market is ‘starting to look very good’ after 1,000 point crash
The COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic spreading across the world has present challenges for President Donald Trump.
In addition to the public health challenge facing the administration, Trump's 2020 reelection campaign is also faced with an economic crisis as the virus disrupts global supply chains.
"Investors around the world retreated from stocks and piled into haven assets including government bonds and gold, reflecting escalating worries that the coronavirus will disrupt the global economy," The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. "The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,000 points—its biggest point decline in more than two years; the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note approached a record low; and gold prices climbed for the eighth straight session to a seven-year high."
Here are 11 of the most popular progressive policies for candidates to run on — and 5 of the least popular
New polling from the progressive pollster Data for Progress, described in a new piece Monday at Vox, points the way forward for Democrats looking to oust President Donald Trump from the White House and enact a liberal policy agenda.
Progressives often argue that their plans are broadly popular with Americans, and that these ideas are only prevented from becoming reality because of an obstinate Republican Party weaponizing racism and misinformation, archaic political institutions that stymie significant efforts at reform, and corruption across the two parties that allows special and corporate interests to undermine the popular will. And there is a fair amount of truth in this idea — some progressive idea are remarkably popular, and there's no good reason they haven't been implemented yet.