Senate confirms Trump’s 50th circuit judge, despite ‘not qualified’ rating
Senators voted 51-44 to approve Lawrence VanDyke’s nomination to be an appeals judge on the 9th Circuit. Sen. Susan Collins (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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.