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Jewish World Review March 29, 2001 / 5 Nissan, 5761

Ann Coulter

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Bizarre political sect ousted from nomination process

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- A FEW YEARS ago I was bitterly disappointed to discover that Judge Pasco Bowman, the otherwise impeccable federal judge I clerked for after law school, had gotten a "qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. Maybe even -- G-d forbid -- "well qualified." I don't remember, it was a dark day. Upon discovering this contretemps, I called him to complain. Almost all the cool guys had gotten "qualified/not qualified" ratings -- what was the matter with him?

Among the judicial nominees who won the ABA's desirable "qualified/not qualified" rating is Judge Richard Posner -- once described by archliberal Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. as one of the two geniuses he had ever met. Others include Judges Frank Easterbrook, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Jerry Smith and Laurence Silberman.

If there were a dream team of federal appellate judges, these guys would be on it (as would Judge Bowman, but for nagging questions about that ABA endorsement).

Clarence Thomas got an impressive "qualified/not qualified" rating from the ABA -- the lowest score ever given to a Supreme Court nominee. Meanwhile, David Souter -- that jurisprudential giant, plucked from a state court where he had been deciding pig trespassing cases -- was unanimously voted "highly qualified."

Finally and most acclaimed, the ABA ratings committee couldn't decide whether Judge Robert Bork was qualified. Four members voted him "not qualified." (The head of the ABA's selection committee then perjured himself by telling a Senate committee that reasonable minds could differ about Bork's qualifications.) Let's compare LSAT scores.

Demonstrating its eagle eye for ferreting out unfit judges, the ABA gave "qualified" or "well qualified" ratings to all three federal judges who were later impeached. So you can understand why Senate Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Patrick Leahy are upset that President Bush is scrapping a fine-tuned system like this.

In my judge's defense: 1) Despite the ABA adjudging him "qualified," Judge Bowman has never been impeached; and 2) Justice Antonin Scalia also got a "qualified" rating -- "well qualified" by the time he was nominated to the Supreme Court. (Keep your eye on that guy.)

I've been going to ABA annual conventions every few years since my parents took me as a little kid. It used to be that you couldn't get on an elevator at the hotel without stepping on a Supreme Court justice, an appellate court judge or a U.S. senator. Big important people gave big important speeches.

Now it's all nobodies. Every single panel discussion is on women and minorities.

That's not entirely fair. The ABA still has marquee speakers, but instead of prominent lawyers they're prominent criminals. After he was impeached and held in contempt by a federal court, the ABA invited Bill Clinton to speak. Also joining the list of celebrated felons was ex-con Webster Hubbell.

Maybe they could get O.J. for one of the minority panels next year. There's no one left to complain -- everyone serious has resigned.

The first wave of resignations came in 1987 when the ABA couldn't decide on Judge Bork's qualifications. The next major exodus came in 1992 when, on a break from peace demonstrations, the House of Delegates declared the ABA in favor of abortion on demand. For months, the resignations came in by the thousands.

After that, the ABA got loopier and loopier. One distinguished federal judge claims to join every few years just so he can resign in protest. Another said he was compelled to resign because the "impartiality of any judge who continues to belong to the ABA is subject to serious question."

For years now, the ABA has been issuing wild proclamations more appropriate to Sister Souljah than a professional association of lawyers. One former ABA president, George Bushnell, called the Republican leadership in Congress "reptilian bastards." (Why couldn't my judge have gotten that appellation?)

The esteemed president also called the Contract With America "an attack on the Constitution comparable to that of the invasion of our shores by foreign forces." You remember the Contract With America? It included pernicious ideas like a balanced budget amendment and tax incentives for adoption.

Two ABA presidents have viciously denounced a proposed flag-burning amendment. Instead of saluting the American flag, the ABA probably has a special session on how to burn it. One, Roberta Ramo, said the flag-burning amendment proved Congress "has lost sight of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as our nation's lodestar and our soul." The other -- Bushnell again - said Sen. Bob Dole's support for it had compromised his "decency as an individual."

Under the decency police at the ABA, former Weatherman, erstwhile member of the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list, Manson-family-admiring Bernadine Dohrn was put in charge of the ABA's Litigation Task Force on Children. ("We are tremendously fortunate to have her," Bushnell said.)

But my judge is "qualified"? I demand a recount.


JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.


Up

03/22/01: The trillion-dollar loophole in 'campaign finance reform'
03/15/01: The liar is gone but the lying continues
03/08/01: More facts, fewer liberals
03/01/01: Mary Jo White-wash
02/22/01: How to talk to a liberal
02/15/01: Bill Clinton does the Harlem shuffle
02/08/01: Eight more Clarence Thomases
02/01/01: This just in: Price controls cause shortages
01/25/01: People United for Swindles and Hucksterism
01/18/01: Ashcroft and the blowhard discuss desegregation
01/11/01: TWO WEEKS TILL INDICTMENT!
01/04/01: Liberal pimps for Clintonism
01/02/01: Kwanzaa: Holiday from the FBI
12/28/00: If Americans support abortion, let's vote
12/26/00: Gore, him and her
12/21/00: Channeling Jackie O
12/14/00: My Court is bigger than your Court
12/11/00: HANG IN THERE, AL!
12/07/00: National Lampoon's Florida Supreme Court Vacation
12/04/00: It's past time for GOPers to quit being good at losing
11/30/00: Things only a Dem will say with a straight face
11/27/00: Certify the electors, then the judges
11/23/00: Kangaroo coup
11/20/00: This is what the Electoral College is supposed to prevent
11/16/00: The liar next time
11/09/00: JUST GO!
11/06/00: Hail Mary past
11/02/00: As the nose grows: The scripture according to Gore
10/30/00: Clinton sure can pick 'em
10/26/00: Gore's 'Nam flashbacks
10/23/00: Courting George Orwell
10/20/00: The three faces of Al
10/17/00: Must Christian conservatives be fascists?
10/13/00: Oil good; Dems bad
10/10/00: Al Gore: Serial fibber
10/06/00: Sigh of the crook
10/03/00: So who's the 'dumb guy' now?
09/29/00: Don't do drug legalization
09/26/00: I'd burn down my neighbor's house
09/22/00: Democrats worship the money shot
09/19/00: Other film footage we'd like to see
09/15/00: Bush can name the **^%*
09/12/00: The Supreme Court ratchet
09/08/00: Our mistake -- keep polluting
09/05/00: Bubba protects and serves
09/01/00: AlGore's 'going out of business!' tax plan
08/29/00: Bush's compassionate conservatism
08/25/00: Space alien tells funny jokes in bathtub
08/22/00: Dems view world only in black and white, not in color
08/18/00: Another Damascus Road conversion
08/15/00: The viagra cotillion
08/11/00: The hand-wringing Hamlet from Hartford
08/07/00: The Democratic party's white face
08/04/00: Hillary's potty mouth
08/01/00: The hole in the story
07/28/00: Cheney's detractors can't get their story straight
07/25/00: AlGore: Elmer Blandry
07/21/00: The tyranny of non-objectivity
07/18/00: The state's religion
07/14/00: Reform it back
07/11/00: Keating for veep
07/07/00: Gore invented 'Clueless'
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test
06/30/00: O.J. was 'proved innocent' too
06/27/00: The last guys 'proved innocent'
06/23/00: Serious Republican candidates don't get serious press
06/19/00: They weren't overzealous this time
06/16/00: Evolution of the strumpet
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice
06/09/00: I did not have sexual
relations with that ... man!
06/06/00: IRS turns Bubba's screw
05/30/00: Too corrupt to be an Arkansas lawyer
05/26/00: Choose liberalism
05/24/00: Violence against coherence
05/22/00: Developmentally disabled Republicans
05/16/00: For womb the bell tolls
05/12/00: Asylum from Georgetown
05/10/00: The truth is out there, even for the clueless
05/08/00: Barbie is a liberal Democrat
05/02/00: Moving the goalpost
04/28/00: The bastardization of justice
04/25/00: How Monica Lewinsky saved the constitution
04/24/00: It's sunny today, so we need gun control
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless
04/14/00: It takes a Communist dictator to raise a child
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Check-Off Box For Pimp Suits
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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