The American Bar Association (ABA) has deemed another of President Donald J. Trump’s judicial nominees “not qualified,” the second time ABA’s vetting committee has given one of the president’s nominees its lowest rating.
The ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rates every presidential judicial nominee as either “well-qualified,” “qualified” or “not qualified.”
According to the committee, Leonard Steven Grasz, who was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by the president, received a unanimous “not qualified” rating.
“The Standing Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament,” the ABA writes in a letter obtained by Politico.
In March, the Trump administration notified the ABA that it would no longer give the independent Standing Committee special access to review the qualifications of prospective nominees.
White House Counsel Donald McGahn told the group, “In a country as diverse as ours, we believe it is essential to give all interested parties the same opportunity to evaluate candidates for judicial service. To that end, the administration welcomes the ABA to evaluate its judicial candidates, just as it welcomes evaluations from any other professional organization or interest group.”
The ABA has vowed to continue evaluating nominees. ABA President Linda Klein said the reviews help “to ensure the highest quality judiciary through an objective, nonpartisan review of the professional competence, integrity and judicial temperament of those who would have lifetime appointments to our federal courts.”
Grasz acts as senior counsel for a firm in Omaha. He has also served as the chief deputy attorney general for the state of Nebraska.
Charles Goodwin, Trump’s nominee to a district court in Oklahoma, was also rated as “not qualified.”
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