Skip to comments.Reid blasts bar association over judicial ratings
Posted on 02/11/2010 6:24:26 PM PST by Nevadan
Sen. Harry Reid criticized the American Bar Association this morning, saying it should "get a new life" in how it rates prospective federal judges, after one of his picks got a mixed review.
In remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Nevada Democrat who is majority leader of the Senate, said the bar association's ratings board puts too much weight on whether judicial nominees have prior bench experience, and it overlooks their "real world" qualifications.
Reid expanded his criticism to include the U.S. Supreme Court, whose present makeup, he said, consists of "people who have never seen the outside world."
"I have asked President (Barack) Obama, let's get somebody on the court that has not been a judge. They need to do more than thinking of themselves as these people who walk around in these robes in these fancy chambers."
Reid was set off by the ABA's rating of Las Vegas attorney Gloria Navarro, who was appearing today before the Senate committee as his choice and Obama's nominee to become a U.S. District Court judge in Nevada.
According to the association's 15-member Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, a "substantial majority" rated Navarro as "qualified," while a minority rated her as "not qualified." The bar shares its ratings in an advisory capacity to the White House and Congress.
Navarro, 42, has been in private practice, has served as a public defender and is presently chief deputy district attorney in the civil division of Clark County district attorney's office.
Several other attorneys who have examined Navarro's resume have speculated her lack of experience as a judge at any level might have been the reason some ABA reviewers rated her "not qualified" for the federal bench.
Reid told the Judiciary Committee it was "upsetting to me" that Navarro "is not rated as high as she should be rated."
"If they base their rating on people having judicial experience, that would mean that according to them, every person who seeks a seat on the bench has to have judicial experience. Maybe a municipal court judge, maybe a justice of the peace.
"I just cannot accept that," Reid said, touting Navarro as an attorney who has pursued political corruption cases, defended a person who had been convicted of murder, and has had to pursue clients in order to pay the bills.
"This woman will be a terrific judge," Reid said. "She has had experience in the real world of government, the real world of law."
With Reid, the Senate majority leader, as her patron, Navarro is expected to win Senate confirmation.
Navarro would be the first Hispanic woman to serve as a federal judge in Nevada. She would replace Brian Sandoval, who resigned the lifetime appointment last year and is running for governor.
The Nevadan appeared before the committee alongside five other nominees for judgeships in Indiana, California and Missouri.
Navarro had waited out the snowstorm that crippled Capitol Hill week, as the confirmation meeting was postponed a day because of the weather. She appeared alone, explaining her husband, Clark County chief deputy district attorney Brian Rutledge, their three sons, her mother and several friends were unable to make it.
"We'll send them a DVD," joked Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
During her testimony, Navarro appeared ready for a question about her experience, which came from Klobuchar.
Navarro said she has practiced in federal and state courts, handled civil and criminal cases, has represented plaintiffs and defendants and has been in private practice and worked as a public servant.
"The experiences have given me the opportunity to appear before many different judges with many different styles," she said. "I have also had the opportunity to become familiar with many different rules and procedures in different courts."
"Having that broad range of experience definitely will build a solid foundation for a successful judicial career."
I agree with Dingy Harry for once. Putting a moron with no judicial experience on the federal bench is no different than what we are doing now. Putting morons WITH judicial experience on the bench.
Since DemocRATS only want people they can count on
to do what they’re told, experience as a judge is not a requirement.
Why should someone who has no experience in being a judge be appointed to the federal courts?
Would they hire someone to work in their national “cyber security” office that had no experience with computers? (don’t answer that question LOL)
Noooooow he wakes up?
The ABA ratings have been a joke since the 1990s.
Most if not ALL federal judges are from the DOJ ranks and it is true they have NEVER seen or been in the real world.
nor do they care.
Of course he is. This is an affirmative action appointment all the way, and everybody knows it. Unfortunately for Reid and Navarro, the "wise Latina" horse manure has already been used to help get a crappy liberal activist judge confirmed.
I don’t know anything about the woman, but I do know one thing: Harry Reid would never consider appointing someone he couldn’t count on to be a total Leftist. BTW, she will be replacing a Republican.
Dingy harry is sayiing this because he is in serious trouble.
Longer than that. They sure didn't have any integrity about the Bork nomination in 1987.
True but does she have a “compelling life story”? That trumps judicial experience, intelligence, common sense and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and our laws EVERY TIME.
A democrat who can’t get along with the leftist ABA? That is really weird.
If she were another wise Latina, she wouldn’t be voting for Dingy.
Translating from the Reid-ese:
“people who have never seen the outside world.” = People who haven’t taken bribes from Jack Abramoff.
Didn’t the ABA approve all the Kelo justices? And that’s not sicko enough for Reid.
You’d be surprised how many SCOTUS judges have had no years of judicial experience. There used to be 5 routes to the Supreme Court, all roughly equally used until recent years (1990’s).
Politician (Earl Warren, Hugo Black - but he had judicial experience),
Executive Branch (Rehnquist, William O. Douglas)
Private Attorney (Lewis Powell)
Then I think the last two were Federal Court and then State Court...
No worse than putting a moron with no executive experience in the White House!!!
If I were appointing a judge, I’d want someone that had a deep understanding of the US Constitution(as it was written), and actually applied it to cases as a judge. I didn’t realize there were so many that were appointed without that experience.
Ideologically, I believe judges should be more (small l)libertarian when it comes to domestic matters, but above all else, follow the US Constitution.
Many of Reagan's best appointments to the lower federal bench had no prior judicial experience. Someone who was the best civil trial lawyer (either side) or a great and fair prosecutor would also have no "prior judicial eperience."
Many, many federal disrict judges have no prior judicial experience, so I frankly doubt that the woman's problem with the ABA is that.
ah. I see.
So, if I go to enough virtuoso violinist performances, I should make a great violinist...
Ried is an idiot. Justice Bill Ayers will be proof. Certainly has the criminal experience missing in the court.
Reid should stay out of bars. He’s hard enough to understand when he is sober.
Democrats only care about advancing Hispanics (or any other minority) if they are liberal. Case in point: Miguel Estrada. They had no problem assassinating his good character.