Why did the American Bar Association have concerns about Cavano still 12 years ago
On Thursday, the American Bar Association (ABA) demanded that the FBI investigate harassment and rape charges against Brett Kavanaugh, a candidate for the US Supreme Court. The warning is noteworthy that just a couple of hours earlier, Republican advocates had quoted ABA's endorsement of Cavanaugh about the "gold standard" of American justice.
How it all began - read here.
A small flashback to the mid-2000s - 12 years ago, there was another battle in the Senate, regarding the nomination of Brett Cavanaugh in federal court. Then the Democrats for three years blocked the candidacy of Cavanaugh to the US Court of Appeal, proposed by George W. Bush, writes The Washington Post. He was accused of bias shown by his work as a lawyer in the presidential campaign of Bush, as well as independent lawyer Bill Clinton and several other high-profile cases involving the Conservatives.
Year after year, Republicans continued to insist that Brett Cavanaugh be appointed to the appellate court. In his recent defense, they cited multiple reviews from the ABA's judicial review committee, which recognized Cavanaugh as "qualified" - the highest possible approval from an association of major lawyers, indicating an outstanding legal ability and an extraordinary judicial temperament.
But in May 2006, with Republicans hoping to finally nominate Cavanaugh for the home stretch, the Association downgraded its approval. Recently, a forensic investigator interviewed dozens of lawyers, judges and other colleagues who worked with Cavanaugh at the time, and some of them were critical of his "professional experience, openness of mind and freedom from bias."
“One interviewee expressed concern about whether a candidate can maintain balance and be fair by taking on federal judging,” the ABA chairman told Senators in 2006. "Another repeated essentially the same thoughts: he (Cavanaugh) is immobile and very stubborn, and also disappoints in solving some issues."
One of the judges told ABA that Cavanaugh acted “sanctimonious” during the oral pleadings in court. Several lawyers considered him inexperienced, one of them assured that Cavanaugh was “disguised” in the courtroom.
But not all reviews were bad.
In the end, the ABA committee contrasted Cavanaugh's “solid reputation for integrity, intellectual potential, and the ability to write and analyze” with concerns that the candidate was “so isolated that he would not be able to judge fairly in the future.” In a controversial vote, ABA downgraded the candidate to merely “qualified”: that is, he met ABA's standards to become a judge, but was not necessarily an outstanding candidate.
The day after AVA lowered the rating, members of the Senate Judicial Committee urged Kavano to return, sit down in front of them and argue how seriously they should take the doubts of the Association. Some accused the ABA of bias. Other Republicans rejected the warnings of the Association and noted that the group still believes: it is necessary to qualify Kavano as a whole.
“Based on your experience, would you advise continuing to consult with ABA when it comes to judges? Senator Lindsay Graham asked Cavanaugh. The man laughed and refused to answer. Two days after the hearing, the Senate Judicial Committee voted to recommend Cavanaugh's candidacy for party lines. The entire Senate did the same later that month.
In his 12 years in court, he appears to have allayed ABA's concerns about his temperament. In his opening statement to the Senate Court of Justice on Thursday, Cavanaugh cited the Bar Association's new characteristic: "highly qualified." It was an angry and somewhat tearful speech in his defense, in which he offered to "take revenge on behalf of the Clintons," which only further provoked his accusers.
“In my understanding,” Graham later said, defending Kavanagh, as he did 12 years ago. “If you lived a good life, people would know it like the American Bar Association - the gold standard. His honesty is absolutely irrefutable. He is very careful in his personal behavior, does not harbor prejudices and prejudices. He is an absolutely ethical, truly decent person. He is warm, friendly, unassuming. He is the nicest person. "
But that evening, when the Republicans were preparing to vote for the nomination of candidates, and the Democrats accused them of ignoring the numerous statements of women against Kavano, AVA again came forward with an unexpected red flag.
“The decision to proceed without further investigation will not only have a long-term impact on the Senate's reputation, but also negatively impact the great confidence the American people need in the Supreme Court,” ABA President Robert Carlson said in a letter to key Senators.
Although his group supported Cavanaugh, Carlson called on the Senate postpone appointmentand the FBI will investigate the claims against Cavanaugh before a decision is made. Twelve years earlier, warnings from lawyers against Kavanaugh delayed his confirmation, at least for the hours while senators discussed his candidacy.
On Friday morning, the chairman of the judicial commission, Charles Grassley, rejected new facts in less than a minute.
“The ABA President's opinion does not change the fact that Judge Cavanaugh received a highly qualified professional rating from the ABA Standing Committee and the Standing Committee did not join the letter,” Grassley said as Republicans prepared to vote.
Not all rejected the warning.
“The ABA said it made this announcement because of - the quote - respect for the rule of law and due process,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, then cut short as background noise swept through the hall.
“I'll just wait for the staff to talk,” Klobuchar said, rubbing her eyes.
US President Donald Trump was forced to order the start of the FBI investigation against his own candidate. He wrote about the beginning of the investigation on Saturday night on his Twitter account.
“Tonight, our seventh FBI investigation into Judge Brett Cavanaugh was opened. One day he will be recognized as a truly great judge of the Supreme Court of the United States! ”- wrote the President of his protege.
Details of the Cavano case are available at link.
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