The ABA ‘Gold Standard’

Top Dems: ‘The ABA Evaluation Has Been The Gold Standard By Which Judicial Candidates Are Judged’

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman: “The ABA’s ringing endorsement is no surprise given Judge Gorsuch's sterling credentials and his distinguished decade-long record on the Tenth Circuit. Former Chairman Leahy and Minority Leader Schumer have called the ABA’s assessment the ‘gold standard’ in evaluating federal judicial nominations. In light of Judge Gorsuch's impeccable record, it's hard to imagine any other result from the ABA's consideration.” (Sen. Grassley, Press Release, 3/9/17)

  • SENS. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) & PAT LEAHY (D-VT): The ABA's evaluation is “the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged.” (The Washington Post, 03/18/01)

ABA: ‘Unanimous Vote That Judge Gorsuch Is “Well Qualified” For The Position Of Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court’

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION: “The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, whom the President has nominated to the United States Supreme Court. … After an exhaustive evaluation process, the Committee has determined by unanimous vote that Judge Gorsuch is ‘Well Qualified’ for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.” (American Bar Association, Letter To Sens. Grassley & Feinstein, 3/9/17)

  • “The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch as ‘Well Qualified.’ The rating was done by an independent, non-partisan committee and was based on integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament and not philosophy, political affiliation or ideology. The review consisted of hundreds of interviews conducted around the country with persons who have personal knowledge of the nominee’s qualifications. In addition, teams of distinguished law school professors examined the nominee’s legal writings (opinions, blogs, briefs, articles, etc.) for quality, clarity, knowledge of the law and analytical ability. A national team of leading practicing lawyers with Supreme Court experience also examined the nominee’s legal writings.” (“ABA Committee on Federal Judiciary Rates Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch ‘Well Qualified,’” American Bar Association, 3/9/17) 

ABA Interviewee: ‘He Is Dedicated To The Constitutional Doctrine Of Separation Of Powers And To The Independence Of The Judiciary’

ABA: “Judicial Independence: We close our statement with a few words about judicial independence, not because judicial independence is itself a criterion that we individually evaluate, but because it is a quality essential to measuring integrity, professional competence and judicial demeanor. Our evaluation process provided an excellent opportunity to gain a glimpse at whether Judge Gorsuch is a judge who ascribes to the concept of an independent judiciary. Based on the writings, interviews, and analyses we scrutinized to reach our rating, we discerned that Judge Gorsuch believes strongly in the independence of the judicial branch of government, and we predict that he will be a strong but respectful voice in protecting it.” (“Statement Of Nancy Scott Degan,” American Bar Association, P.18, 3/19/17)

  • ABA: “As one interviewee noted with alacrity, ‘Judge Gorsuch has 'grit,' which he gets from being a multi-generation Westerner.’ Another stated, ‘He is dedicated to the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and to the independence of the judiciary.’ Yet another observed, ‘In addition to his outstanding academic credentials and brilliant mind, Judge Gorsuch's demeanor and written opinions during his tenure on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrate that he believes unwaveringly in the rule of law and judicial independence. In my opinion, he is exceptionally well qualified to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.’ We agree.” (“Statement Of Nancy Scott Degan,” American Bar Association, P.18, 3/19/17)

SENATE DEMOCRATS: ‘I Value No Other Recommendation More Highly,’ ‘Prized And Important’

TIM RUSSERT, NBC News: “Senator Schumer, back in 2001 you wrote a letter to President Bush and you said this: ‘The ABA evaluation has been the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged...’ Gold standard.” SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Yes. … The bar association is the gold standard…” (NBC’s “Meet The Press, 1/8/06)

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), Former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman: “There have been debates in this Committee in the past about the relevance and importance of the ABA recommendation.  I think it is important, what you do...” (U.S. Senate, Judiciary Committee, Hearing, Pg.453,  9/12-15/2005)


Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Nominations, Supreme Court