American Bar Association: Trump court pick now 'Well Qualified'

The American Bar Association (ABA) rated one of President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE’s court nominees as “Well Qualified” on Tuesday after it had declared Judge Justin Walker “Not Qualified” last year for his current position on a Kentucky district court.

Walker is considered “Well Qualified” to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, William C. Hubbard, who chairs the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, said in a letter to Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamClyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes The names to know as Biden mulls Breyer's replacement Schumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' MORE (R-S.C.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinOvernight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs MORE (D-Calif.). The senators head the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is set to hold Walker’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday. 

Hubbard said last year’s determination that Walker was “Not Qualified” for the U.S. District Court in Western Kentucky came from his “then-narrower litigation experience.” He added that since then, Walker “has served as a federal trial judge.” 

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The ABA official said “ordinarily” a nominee to a federal bench is recommended to have “at least 12 years’ experience in the practice of law.” But he said “a majority of the Standing Committee concluded that Judge Walker’s varied accomplishments as a law clerk, law professor, and now as a district judge offset concerns about his years of practicing law.”

Walker, an ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' It's time for 'Uncle Joe' to take off the gloves against Manchin and Sinema Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema MORE (R-Ky.), and his supporters asserted the ABA has a liberal bias after last year’s ruling. 

McConnell has prioritized confirming judges during the Trump administration. As of May 4, Trump has appointed 193 judges, trailing only former President Carter, who appointed 208, according to the Brookings Institution

A federal judge late last week called for an investigation to find out whether McConnell pressured a Washington, D.C., federal judge to retire so the senator could nominate Walker to fill the vacancy.

Demand Justice, a progressive judicial watchdog group, on Tuesday requested a postponement of the Judicial Committee's hearing on Walker's nomination.