Donald Trump came one step closer to stacking more conservative judges in our judiciary this week.
Both of Trump’s 9th Circuit nominees, Lawrence VanDyke and Patrick Bumatay, were moved forward by the Senate Judiciary Committee, one step closer to full confirmation.
The party line
Both the House and the Senate have become party line establishments. The House is starkly divided over the impeachment inquiry and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary have given Democrats a taste of their own medicine.
Both VanDyke and Bumatay were moved forward, but it was done so along party lines.
While all 12 Republican members on the committee voted to move the nominations forward, every Democrat on the committee voted against pushing them forward.
Democrats cited a letter from the American Bar Association that blasted VanDkye’s character and Bumatay’s lack of appellate experience as reasons to reject the nominees.
Surviving the challenges
While most pundits did not expect Bumatay to be a problem, VanDyke was a completely different matter. The reason for this was the surprisingly scathing indictment of character by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The Federal Judiciary Committee of the ABA did not endorse his nomination, stating that those interviewed about VanDyke stated that he was “arrogant, lazy, and an ideologue.”
When that report was issued, both VanDyke and the Trump administration called the report a “hit job” to prevent Trump from being able to place another conservative in the courts.
During his hearing VanDyke actually broke down, showing considerable emotion over the report.
In defense of VanDyke, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) stated the letter from the ABA “would almost be humorous in an inflammatory way were it not so personal, were it not so unfounded. The ABA has essentially called you a homophobic bigot… with no apparent basis.”
VanDyke was also defended by an assistant professor of Law at George Mason University, Adam J. White, who stated, “‘Arrogant, lazy, an ideologue.’ Those words don’t describe Lawrence VanDyke. They describe today’s American Bar Association.”