The president of the American Bar Association reacted to Thursday’s hearing featuring testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford by calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold off on voting on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until after the FBI conducts an investigation of Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her when they were in high school.
An ABA committee previously deemed Kavanaugh to be “Well Qualified” for the Supreme Court position, their highest possible rating. ABA committees base these determinations on in-depth examinations of judicial nominees, including interviews with those who know him. Committee members testified at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, lauding him for his integrity.
Now, ABA president Robert M. Carlson said in a letter to Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) that Senators should only make a decision on Kavanaugh “after an appropriate background check into the allegations made by Professor Ford and others is completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Carlson’s letter doesn’t say that he believes the allegations against Kavanaugh, but noted the importance of having a thorough process for getting to the bottom of the situation.
“Each appointment to our nation’s Highest Court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote,” he 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.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to have a meeting regarding Kavanaugh Friday morning, where they will potentially vote on his confirmation.
[Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images]