An unbelievable, shameful attack on a good man. That's how US Senators described the attack on former Montana Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke by the biased American Bar Association (ABA). VanDyke has been nominated by President Trump to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to Fox News, VanDyke was personally attacked by the ABA, which claimed VanDyke "would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community." He res

"I did not say that," VanDyke told Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tears welling up in his eyes.

"No, I did not say that. I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God. They should all be treated with dignity and respect, senator," he added, sobbing.

Can we trust this baseless, personal attack from the ABA on VanDyke? Of course not. As Hiram Sasser writes in his op-ed now posted at, the panel that was supposedly "evaluating" VanDyke for the ABA was incredibly biased from the start.

Marcia Davenport led VanDyke’s evaluation for the ABA. That’s significant because she donated directly to VanDyke’s political opponent when he ran for the Montana Supreme Court. Indeed, not one of her political donations landed in the campaign coffers of a Republican.

And, as Carrie Severino reports, the ABA team relied on statements from Michael Black, the chief of the Civil Division Bureau of the Montana Department of Justice, who “publicly opposed VanDyke when he ran for the Montana Supreme Court, launching personal attacks against VanDyke.”

VanDyke graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Janice Rogers Brown on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit before launching his appellate career.  VanDyke has the distinction of having served as both the solicitor general of Montana and Nevada, where he oversaw every important case affecting those states. He has argued over 20 appeals in the federal circuit courts (most in the Ninth Circuit) and has been the counsel of record on 28 briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawrence VanDyke is one of the standout appellate litigators of his generation.

Nonetheless, the ABA has made the astonishing determination that VanDyke is “Not Qualified.”  Consider for a moment the absurdity of that conclusion applied to someone who would be the only circuit judge to have served as the chief appellate litigator of two states—and one with major victories under his belt.

Video with Senator Josh Hawley:

Video with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT):

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