The Senate Judiciary Committee is plowing ahead with confirmation hearings for two of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the federal courts next week, almost certainly without formal ratings from the American Bar Association — a move infuriating Democrats who say the nonpartisan group needs more time to rate Trump’s judicial candidates.
The nominees are Timothy J. Kelly and Trevor McFadden, both picked to serve as federal judges for the D.C. district. Trump formally nominated the two on June 7, and their confirmation hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.
That timeline won't give the American Bar Association enough time to conduct formal evaluations, which usually take about 35 days. An ABA spokesman said Thursday while the association always aims to finish the evaluations by the confirmation hearing, "the ABA does not have adequate time for its careful review" on Kelly and McFadden because of the truncated time frame.
“We’re disappointed that the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold a nomination hearing for two district court nominees before the American Bar Association will be able to complete their independent nonpartisan evaluations,” all nine Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said in a joint statement Thursday.
The Democrats urged Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) not to hold hearings until the ABA has provided their ratings of judicial nominees.