November 1, 2019 | From Fox News
One of President Trump‘s nominees for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals broke down in tears during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, as he disputed suggestions that he would not be fair to members of the LGBTQ community.
Lawrence VanDyke was the subject of a scathing letter from the American Bar Association, sent to committee leadership Tuesday night, which alleged that people they interviewed expressed this concern, and that VanDyke himself “would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community.”
But conservatives have adamantly defended the nominee. And when asked about this at Wednesday’s hearing, VanDyke strongly disputed the ABA’s account.
“I did not say that,” VanDyke told Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tears welling up in his eyes.
“No, I did not say that. I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God. They should all be treated with dignity and respect, senator,” he added, sobbing.
VanDyke also said that he was not given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations during his ABA interview. He said when he was confronted with the concerns about his views, he began to answer but was told they were running out of time.
That interview was conducted by Marcia Davenport, the lead evaluator. Hawley noted that Davenport once contributed to the campaign of a judicial candidate who was running against VanDyke.
“I find that absolutely unbelievable,” Hawley said, stating it “probably explains the totally ad hominem nature of this disgraceful letter.”
The paragraph preceding the questioning of his attitude toward LGBTQ litigants included a list of other complaints against VanDyke, attributed to “the assessments of interviewees,” without detailing who or how many.
“Mr. VanDyke’s accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules,” it said, explaining why despite his professional and academic experience, they gave him a “Not Qualified” rating. “There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an ‘entitlement’ temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful.”
The ABA did note that VanDyke, a Harvard Law School graduate and former solicitor general for Montana and Nevada, is “clearly smart.”
The assessment drew a backlash from conservative groups.
“Even for the ABA, this is beyond the pale,” the Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino said in a statement, accusing the ABA of “bias against conservative nominees to the judiciary.”
(Excerpt from Fox News. Article by Ronn Blitzer.)