It is difficult to read the following without marveling at the fantastic ability to hedge that makes the modern American lawyer. The ABA review panel is worried that President Bush’ nominee to the DC District Court of Appeals, Brett Kavanaugh. He is described as “dissembling” and not necessarily open-minded, yet is is “qualified to serve on the federal bench” and “low ratings are very high.”
Apparently, “honest and objective” are no longer qualifications for a judge…. But read for yourself (it is edited for brevity):
The American Bar Association downgraded its rating of President Bush’s appellate court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, after new interviews raised concerns about his courtroom experience and open-mindedness, the chairman of the peer-review panel said Monday.
The 14-member committee changed the White House aide’s rating from “well-qualified” to “qualified” last month in part because six members of the panel downgraded their rating from the last time Kavanaugh was reviewed, panel chairman Steven Tober said.
Nonetheless, Tober wrote in a statement Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh is “indeed qualified to serve on the federal bench.”
“This nominee enjoys a solid reputation for integrity, intellectual capacity and writing and analytical ability,” Tober wrote. “The concern has been and remains focused on the breadth of his professional experience.”
In the statement, Tober said new interviews conducted since the ABA’s previous rating of Kavanaugh in 2005 raised “additional concern over whether this nominee is so insulated that he will be unable to judge fairly in the future.”
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Kavanaugh still is a good pick for the post.
“In 42 votes cast in the three ABA reviews, all 42 found Mr. Kavanaugh to be qualified or well qualified to serve on the DC Circuit,” Perino said. “Even the lowest of the three ratings is a very high rating.” The panel has issued three evaluations of Kavanaugh, in 2003, 2005 and last month.
Recent interviews with Kavanaugh’s associates expanded on those concerns, Tober wrote. One judge who witnessed Kavanaugh’s oral presentation in court said the nominee was “less than adequate” before the court and showed “experience on the level of an associate.” Another lawyer said Kavanaugh “dissembled” in the courtroom, Tober wrote.