Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Does She or Doesn't She: Unqualified Judge Now Qualified


According to the Hartford [Connecticut] Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant who was determined by the American Bar Association to be "unqualified" to be a United States District Court Judge is now "qualified."

That is good news for all you Cynics out there. Once again the political machinations of our government are at play. Here's how this one played out:

January 2006, Bryant is nominated to be a federal judge by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell.
That nomination is supported by both Connecticut Senators Dodd and Lieberman, and the Attorney General for the state.

The ABA and the Connecticut Bar Association investigate Bryant by confidentially interviewing lawyers, other judges and probably politicians.

Both organizations slam Bryant as unqualified and infer or state that she is rude, obnoxious and in the usual legalize, "lacks the judicial temperment" to be a federal judge? [Apparently now one considered that if that were true, perhapes she shouldn't be a State judge either].

With dismal prospects the confirming body, the United States Senate, let Bryant's nomination sit, the Congressional session ended and she was done.

But wait! In an act very few judges of Bryant's demeanor perform, she gets a second chance. Rell and company get the President to nominate her again in January 2007. The "unqualified" judge is given a "second bite at the apple."

Why? Because she is black and a female and someone wants to make sure Connecticut is the first state in New England to appoint someone with those "credentials."

The arm twisting begins and...whaala! Bryant, like the Lord herself, is resurrected by the ABA. A judge who was unqualified a year ago is now qualified.

Perhaps she spent that time in judicial "Rehab." Did Bryant's demeanor, expertise and judicial temperment transform over the year she was hung out to dry? Unlikely.

According to the ABA, "We don't simply readopt the prior rating. We re-examine the professional qualificaions of the nominee, which was done in this case." The ABA would not say why the rating changed.

However, Governor Rell somehow knew the inner workings of the ABA review process. In a startling revelation of the comprehensive review process she stated, according to the Courant, "The ABA's change of heart is encouraging." So armed with the same information that led to an unqualified rating the committee apparently got together the second time around joined in a group hug, sang songs and had a change of heart.

Well, isn't that special. Federal judges get ABA ratings based on the big hearts of people even most lawyers never heard of.

So the answer to the question: What qualifies anyone to be a United States District Judge? Simply wait it out and see if the ABA will have a change of heart. Which means the entire process is bull.

Antisthenes Now's advice to Bryant. If you don't get confirmed this year just wait it out until next year, resubmit, get another "change of heart" and you will then be "well qualified" the ABA's highest rating.

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