“In particular, they are said to have questioned whether the panelists — many of whom are litigators — place too much value on courtroom experience at the expense of lawyers who pursued career paths less likely to involve trials, like government lawyers and law professors.”

November 22nd, 2011

This, and not the bit about unqualified minority candidates, interests me the most. Bias against people who did not litigate is fascinating.

 According to a person familiar with the ratings, in discussions with the administration, the panel cited concerns about experience for six of the 14 candidates found “not qualified.” It also cited concerns over temperament for five, competence for three, and ethics for three. (Three potential nominees were said to have been criticized as falling short in more than one of those areas.)

This is also interesting:

Of the 14 people opposed by the panel, a person familiar with the ratings said, nine are women — five of whom are white, two black, and two Hispanic. Of the five men, one is white, two are black, and two are Hispanic. . . .

The bar association is also said to have deemed at least two other potential minority or female judicial nominees as “not qualified,” but upgraded them to “qualified” after the White House asked it to take a second look. …

All but one of the 14 were slated to become district court judges, and — as is traditional — had been recommended for the Obama administration’s consideration by Congress. One had been identified by the administration and was slated for an appeals court.