ABA Violated Several of Its Own Policies in Rating Lawrence VanDyke, Nominee, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

1. Here are the ABA policies:

Background: American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary: What It Is and How It Works


2. Here are the 3 ways that the ABA violated its own policies:

a. The second reviewer never interviewed VanDyke and never even attempted to contact him

ABA Policy II.D 

In any instance in which an evaluator apprises the Chair that the evaluator may recommend that a nominee be rated “Not Qualified,” the Chair will appoint a second evaluator to conduct an independent review of the nominee’s professional qualifications. … The second evaluator also conducts a new interview of the nominee in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section II.B. The second evaluator prepares an Informal Report setting forth the identity of each interviewee and a summary of the interviews conducted; a summary of the interview with the nominee; and, his or her own recommended rating for the nominee.

b. ABA primary reviewer should have recused due to donation to nominee’s judicial election opponent

ABA Policy II.E Recusal and Abstention

No Committee member, including the Chair, shall participate in the evaluation or vote on the rating of a nominee in any instance in which such participation would give rise to the appearance of impropriety or would otherwise be incompatible with the purposes served and functions performed by the Committee, or where such member’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

c. ABA’s last-minute submission at 7 pm the night before a morning hearing was less than the required 24 hours or 48 hours before the hearing 

ABA Policy II.F 

The written statement is submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the nominee forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the nominee’s scheduled confirmation hearing, if the Committee has at least seven days’ advance notice of the hearing date and is assured that the statement will not be disseminated publicly until the date of the hearing. Otherwise, the Committee submits its written statement twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the nominee’s confirmation hearing.