The Senate confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE's 50th circuit court nominee on Wednesday despite the pick being rated "not qualified" by the American Bar Association (ABA). 
 
Senators voted 51-44 to approve Lawrence VanDyke's nomination to be an appeals judge on the 9th Circuit. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP confident of win on witnesses Republicans signal renewed confidence they'll avoid witness fight Trump's team rests, calls for quick end to trial MORE (R-Maine) joined Democrats in opposing his nomination.  
 
VanDyke grabbed headlines in October when he started crying during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The emotional moment came when he was asked about concerns that the ABA brought forth about his treatment of LGBT people. 
 
“I did not say that,” he said, fighting through tears. “I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God, and they should all be treated with dignity and respect.”  
 
The ABA rated VanDyke, a former solicitor general in both Nevada and Montana, as “not qualified” following an investigation that included interviews with 60 individuals.
 
"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-to- day practice including procedural rules," the group wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
 
"There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an 'entitlement' temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful," the ABA standing committee continued, noting that some interviewees "raised concerns about whether Mr. VanDyke would be fair to persons who are gay, lesbian, or otherwise part of the LGBTQ community."
 
Republican senators, during the committee hearing, dismissed the ABA's rating as a partisan attack because a member of the group's standing committee responsible for the 9th Circuit donated to one of VanDyke's political opponents. 
 
Republicans have put a premium on confirming Trump's circuit court nominees, and conservative outside groups praised VanDyke on Wednesday. 

"There are few better legal minds in the country today. I congratulate Lawrence and his family for their patience and perseverance to this great achievement,"  Hiram Sasser, the general counsel for First Liberty Institute, said in a statement. 
 
Casey Mattox, the vice president for legal and judicial strategy at Americans for Prosperity, called VanDyke a "highly qualified individual who is committed to faithfully interpreting the Constitution and our laws."
 
But VanDyke garnered widespread, fierce opposition from Democrats and civil rights groups. 
 
Neither of his home-state senators, Sens. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoOvernight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Senators push Pentagon on Syria strategy after withdrawal uproar, Soleimani strike Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations MORE (D-Nev.) nor Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenSenate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senators introduce bill to create 'parity' among broadband programs MORE (D-Nev.), returned their blue slips on the nomination. A blue slip is a sheet of paper that indicates if a home-state senator supports a nominee. Republicans made history by confirming the first circuit judge nominees who did not receive a blue slip from either home-state senator. 

"Mr. VanDyke’s temperament and integrity have been called into question by his colleagues and the American Bar Association, which rated him 'not qualified' for the federal bench.  And Mr. VanDyke’s record ... is far outside the mainstream," said Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinExtreme Risk Protection Order Act will help keep guns out of the wrong hands California Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Biden wins endorsement of Sacramento mayor MORE (D-Calif.). 
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet Senate Democrats' super PAC raised million in 2019 As the mental health crisis grows, Puerto Ricans need long-term care MORE (D-N.Y.) said VanDyke is "unqualified even in comparison to some of the worst nominees we’ve seen under this administration."

"Please reject this nominee. He is so unqualified. He’s a low human being, at least according to all of this, and he’ll have a lifetime appointment on a circuit bench?" Schumer added.