The ABA Just Gave Brett Kavanaugh Its Highest Possible Rating

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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The American Bar Association’s (ABA) standing committee on the judiciary released its evaluation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday, awarding him a unanimous “well-qualified” rating.

The ABA panel issues its evaluation based on a variety of measures including integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament.

“The committee’s objective is to provide impartial peer evaluations of the professional qualifications of judicial nominees in order to assist the Senate Judiciary Committee in assessing whether such individuals should be confirmed by the Senate,” an ABA memo detailing the process reads.

The ABA does not officially consider ideological factors, though some conservatives have accused the organization of bias. (RELATED: The Man Who Took Down Richard Nixon Will Testify Against Brett Kavanaugh)

The committee’s internal vetting procedures are wide-ranging and rigorous. Law professors are invited to review a candidate’s body of written work product, under the direction of a dean or a senior professor, while other committee members interview lawyers and judges who practice with the candidate.

The “well-qualified” rating is the highest score the ABA attaches to a nominee. Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the high court, also received a “well-qualified” score.

The Trump White House, like previous Republican administrations, does not solicit input from the ABA before publicly naming nominees.

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