Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sotomayor vs. Estrada: So Now American Bar Association Ratings Are Good Enough For Democrats

The American Bar Association has given Sonia Sotomayor its highest rating of "well qualifed."

The Los Angeles Times notes:

The ABA traditionally has played a role in the vetting of Supreme Court nominees. Most have received the "well-qualified" rating by a unanimous vote, but in 1991, then-nominee Clarence Thomas was given a simple "qualified" tag. Supporters of failed nominee Robert Bork were outraged in 1987 when he received several "unqualified" votes from an ABA panel.

Curiously, the article makes no mention of Miguel Estrada. He was nominated to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush in May 2001. Despite having a rating of "well qualified" from the ABA, the Senate did not give Estrada an up and down vote. Estrada withdrew his name from consideration in September 2003.

Here's the text of a letter that Alberto Gonzales, then White House Counsel, wrote to California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein in February 2003. Gonzales concluded his letter by writing, "This is an historic nomination, as Miguel Estrada would be the first Hispanic to serve on the D.C. Circuit. We urge you to vote to confirm him."

But I guess Feinstein and Senate Democrats didn't think Estrada had enough rich experiences.

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