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American Bar Association reopening Kavanaugh evaluation due to 'temperament'

The American Bar Association (ABA) sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday announcing that it will be reopening its evaluation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The ABA said in the letter to Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDurbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’ Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue GOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks MORE (D-Calif.) that “new information of a material nature regarding temperament” has prompted it to reopen its evaluation.

The association said its Standing Committee does not expect to complete the process and “re-vote” before the final Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which is slated for Saturday.

The group noted that its "original rating stands."

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During his testimony before the Judiciary Committee last week about allegations of sexual assault, Kavanaugh touted his "well qualified" rating from the ABA, its highest rating, attributing it to his “judicial temperament” while serving as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court for 12 years.

“That's why I have the unanimous, 'well qualified' rating from the American Bar Association,” he said.

Democratic lawmakers criticized Kavanaugh’s conduct during the heated hearing, where he repeatedly questioned Democratic senators about their drinking habits when they asked him about his behavior during high school and college. 

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Thursday said he does not believe that Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the high court, saying there was "merit" to criticism of the judge's temperament after his heated testimony last week.

Earlier this month, the ABA called on the Judiciary Committee to postpone a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court until the FBI could investigate accusations of sexual misconduct against him.

Multiple GOP senators on Thursday expressed satisfaction with a report from the FBI that followed a days-long investigation into claims from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of assault at a high school party in 1982. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

The ABA is the nation’s largest legal organization and has more than 400,000 members.

The association did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.