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American Bar Association rates Amy Coney Barrett as 'well qualified'

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on September 26, 2020. - Barrett, if confirmed by the US Senate, will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

The American Bar Association on Sunday rated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as "well qualified," its highest rating, an important endorsement ahead of what are expected to be contentious confirmation hearings on her Supreme Court appointment this week.

Washington (CNN)The American Bar Association on Sunday rated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as "well qualified," its highest rating, an important endorsement ahead of what are expected to be contentious confirmation hearings on her Supreme Court appointment this week.

The ABA's rating will be cited by Republicans to blunt those criticisms, even though the group's importance is regularly dismissed by Republicans when it has criticized some judicial nominees.

"A substantial majority of the Standing Committee determined that Judge Barrett is 'Well Qualified,' and a minority is of the opinion that she is 'Qualified' to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States," Randall D.

Noel, chair of the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, wrote in a letter.

"While these criteria -- integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament -- are the basis for the Standing Committee's evaluation of all federal court nominees, the Committee's investigations of Supreme Court nominees are particularly rigorous," according to the group.

The ABA previously assessed President Donald Trump's other two Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as "well qualified," and both were confirmed.

The ABA's ratings have occasionally been the subject of criticism by some Republicans when it has found nominees to be unqualified, particularly amid the party's push during Trump's presidency to remake the federal judiciary.

In 2018, the group rated Jonathan Kobes as "not qualified" to serve as a US Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit, in which then-Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Republican from Iowa, criticized the ABA's methodology and accused it of "politicizing" the nomination.

Republicans similarly disregarded the group's "not qualified" rating against Lawrence J. C. VanDyke, a then-federal appeals court nominee, who broke down in tears during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in response to the group's findings.

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