Trump's judicial nominee Lawrence VanDyke breaks down at hearing after being accused he would not be fair to LGBT people
A letter from the American Bar Association said VanDyke's accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that he is arrogant, lazy and an ideologue.
One of President Donald Trump’s legacies has been to influence the American judiciary with conservative judges. In March, he turned a federal appeals court that was dominated by nominees of Democratic presidents into one with a majority of choices of the Republican ones.
On Wednesday, October 30, Trump’s judicial nominee Lawrence VanDyke broke down while having an emotional exchange during his confirmation hearing. VanDyke was in tears while addressing concerns that he would not be fair to the people of the LGBT community.
The 46-year-old VanDyke, a nominee for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, said while responding to Republican Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley of the Senate Judiciary Committee about a report from the American Bar Association (ABA): “It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God, and they should all be treated with dignity and respect.”
VanDyke 'not qualified' for position, 'lacks humility' and 'open mind'
According to the ABA’s Federal Judiciary Committee, VanDyke was “not qualified” for the position and that he “lacks humility” and “an open mind”.
"Mr VanDyke’s accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that Mr VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice, including procedural rules," an ABA letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee read.
VanDyke, who has worked as a solicitor general in Nevada and Montana and currently serves in the justice department’s Environment and Natural Resources division, was not given a clean chit by some individuals who have worked with him earlier.
“Mr VanDyke would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community,” the letter said about one of the interviews that were conducted with VanDyke.
When Hawley asked VanDyke whether he indeed say that he would not be fair to the LGBT community, the latter said that was the part of the letter. In tearful eyes, he denied saying the same claiming that he did not believe it.
Republican senators blast letter and ABA
Later, both Hawley and his Republican mate from Utah Mike Lee blasted the letter and the ABA, respectively. Lee even said the ABA made VanDyke look like a “homophobic bigot with no apparent basis”.
Hawley has previously expressed his disgust over the fact that ABA assigned the task of evaluating VanDyke to Marcia Davenport who was once involved with the political campaign of one of the nominee’s rivals.