Star attorney Ted Olson, the former solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration whose services were once coveted by President Donald Trump, has ditched the American Bar Association (ABA) after its president called for the FBI to investigate sexual misconduct claims made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The National Law Journal reported that Olson, now a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, has released a statement officially severing ties with the ABA.
“I do not wish to be a member of an organization which purports to represent me, as a member of that organization, on such issues without my participation in formulating such positions or consent to being represented in this fashion,” he said.
Olson took a direct shot at ABA President Robert Carlson. Carlson, as calls for the FBI to investigate began to increase, said in a letter to Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that there should not be a vote to confirm Kavanaugh on the Senate floor until “after an appropriate background check into the allegations made by Professor [Christine Blasey] Ford and others is completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
“Each appointment to our nation’s Highest Court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote,” Carlson said. “Deciding to proceed without conducting additional investigation would not only have a lasting impact on the Senate’s reputation, but it will also negatively affect the great trust necessary for the American people to have in the Supreme Court. It must remain an institution that will reliably follow the law and not politics.”
Olson said that Carlson did not have authority to send this letter, calling this “self-appointed leadership.”
“He purports to have the authority to do so under the ABA charter and by-laws. He does not,” Olson said. “The members of the ABA do not need his self-appointed leadership on issues of due process and the rule of law or how the Senate Judiciary [Committee] should conduct its constitutionally ordained processes.”
Jack Rives, ABA executive director, replied that Carlson had the authority under “bylaw 29.2 as the principal spokesperson for the association.”
He also said that Carlson’s letter to the Senate was “not designed as a partisan statement.”
[Image via MELINA MARA/AFP/Getty Images]
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