Saturday, May 06, 2006

ABA kicks self in shin

Nothing good can come of the ABA committee's determination (reported in these links from How Appealing) that the black woman nominated by President Bush to the U.S. district court in Connecticut deserves an "unqualified" rating.

The Hartford paper's article included this bit of perspective:

"Poor ratings are equally rare in Connecticut. Legal scholars contacted Friday could recall only two by the American Bar Association - one of former Republican Gov. Thomas J. Meskill and another of Hartford lawyer Joseph Adinolfi Jr., both in the 1970s. The scholars said Meskill and Adinolfi were not evaluated by the state bar association.

Most observers now attribute Meskill's unqualified rating to opposition to his political policies - opposition that was led by the faculty at the University of Connecticut's School of Law. Meskill was probably further hampered by the fact that his nomination was one of President Nixon's last official acts. Within days of nominating Meskill, Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal.

Nixon nominated Meskill to one of the most influential courts in the country, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York, on the recommendation of Republican Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Despite the evaluation of not qualified, Meskill prevailed in the Senate in 1976, after President Ford endorsed the nomination and Weicker actively supported him.

Meskill continues to sit on the court of appeals and is highly regarded. He has received numerous awards from the state bar association, which one lawyer said Friday amount to a continuing apology for his treatment during his nomination process."

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