by Steven Ertelt
January 4, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The American Bar Association voted unanimously to give Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito a rating of "well qualified," it’s highest rating for judicial picks. The attorneys group said its committee believes Alito has the knowledge and experience necessary to serve on the nation’s high court.
Stephen Tober, chairman of the ABA panel, said "As a result of our investigation, the committee is of the unanimous opinion that Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. is well-qualified for appointment as associate justice of the United States Supreme Court."
Alito also received the well-qualified rating during his 1990 nomination for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ABA also gave John Roberts its highest rating during his bid to become Chief Justice and it gave the high ratings to pro-abortion Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg as well.
Alito has served as a federal appeals court judge for 15 years and the ABA does an extensive peer review of the records of judges before giving a rating.
The committee giving the rating consists of 15 legal experts from across the country and leading law school professors and top Supreme Court attorneys also provide input.
In order to win a rating of "well-qualified," the ABA says on its web site that the nominee must be at the "top of the legal profession in his or her legal community; have outstanding legal ability, breadth of experience and the highest reputation for integrity; and either demonstrate or exhibit the capacity for judicial temperament."
The ABA ratings are well-qualified, qualified and not qualified.
In a statement responding to Alito’s ABA rating, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said "Judge Alito is right on track to become Justice Alito, and today‘s announcement of the ABA rating demonstrates what an overwhelming majority of Americans already believe, that Judge Sam Alito is unquestionably well-qualified to serve on our nation‘s highest court."
Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he didn’t think the rating would stop pro-abortion groups and other political organizations from attacking Alito’s nomination.
"Unfortunately, the hard left groups decided long before these ratings were announced that they would oppose his nomination," Cornyn said Wednesday, according to an AP report.
"And some Senate Democrats, including some who have previously described the ABA’s evaluation as the gold standard, will now dismiss the rating as meaningless," he added.
The ABA delivered a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday informing it of Alito’s ranking.
Tobin did not say why one member of the committee recused himself from the vote, but the group will testify on the final days of Alito’s hearings at the judicial panel.
The ABA, which backs abortion, had long been a part of the White House vetting process for selecting judicial nominees but President Bush ended that in 2001 because the group has become too political.
The Senate Judiciary is set to begin hearings on Alito’s nomination next week and the full Senate is slated to vote on his nomination January 20. If confirmed, Alito would replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.