Thursday, 31 October 2019

Federal judge nominee breaks down in tears as American Bar Association reveals his fellow lawyers say he is lazy, arrogant, entitled, close-minded - and claim he is unwilling to promise to be fair to the LGBTQ community

One of President Trump's judicial nominees started crying in the middle of his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over a particularly brutal review of his work in an American Bar Association-signed letter.  
Lawrence VanDyke, up for a spot on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was questioned about the contents of the letter by Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, who noted that it said he was 'arrogant,' 'lacking in the knowledge of the day-to-day practice of law' and 'would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community.' 
That final point prompted the tears. 

Lawrence VanDyke, one of President Trump's judicial nominees, cried during his Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing over the contents of an American Bar Association letter that didn't recommend he get the job
Lawrence VanDyke, one of President Trump's judicial nominees, cried during his Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing over the contents of an American Bar Association letter that didn't recommend he get the job 

Reviewers called the longtime attorney 'arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-today practice including procedural rules'
Reviewers called the longtime attorney 'arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-today practice including procedural rules'
VanDyke was answering questions about the letter posed by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who thought it was unfair that the woman in charge of compiling it had donated to a VanDyke political rival
VanDyke was answering questions about the letter posed by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who thought it was unfair that the woman in charge of compiling it had donated to a VanDyke political rival 
 'I did not say that,' VanDyke told Hawley, as he started to sob. '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 be treated with dignity and respect, senator.' 
Hawley had previously signaled disgust that the ABA put Marcia Davenport, who once contributed to the political campaign of a VanDyke rival, in charge of evaluating whether he was fit for the role. 
'I find that absolutely unbelievable,' Hawley said. 
The Missouri Republican said that it 'probably explains the totally ad hominem nature of this disgraceful letter.' 
President Trump also cheers at his rallies that he's been so successful in remaking the federal bench with droves of conservative judges
President Trump also cheers at his rallies that he's been so successful in remaking the federal bench with droves of conservative judges 
The letter was addressed to Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which evaluates all of Trump's judicial nominees, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel's top Democrat. 
The ABA interviewed 60 individuals and found that a 'substantial majority of the Committee has determined that Mr. VanDyke is "Not Qualified," and a minority determined that he is “Qualified” to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.' 
'Mr. VanDyke’s accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-today practice including procedural rules,' the letter went on. 
'There was a theme that the nominee lacks October 29, 2019 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. 
VanDyke served as both Montana and Nevada's solicitor general - a state's top government attorney -  with the ABA letter calling him a 'highly educated lawyer' with nearly 14 years of experience. 
But that didn't outweigh the negatives, wrote William Hubbard, who signed the letter. 
'Even though Mr. VanDyke is clearly smart, comments were made that in some oral arguments he missed issues fundamental to the analysis of the case,' Hubbard said. 'There were reports that his preparation and performance were lacking in some cases in which he did not have a particular personal or political interest.'

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