- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The American Bar Association declared one of President Trump’s recent judicial picks ‘not qualified’ for the bench this week, potentially complicating the path for Judge Charles Goodwin, who was nominated to a federal court in Oklahoma.

It’s the first time the ABA has issued such a poor ruling on one of Mr. Trump’s nominees.

Judge Goodwin’s home state senators said they are standing by his nomination.

“Charles Goodwin was appointed by his peers and has served as a US magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma for four years, demonstrating a strong reputation for being fair and ethical,” said Oklahoma Republican Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe in a joint press release Tuesday afternoon.

The senators say Judge Goodwin received a 5.0 rating from Martingale-Hubbell AV, “a ‘preeminent’ rating for ‘the highest level of professional excellence.’”

They also said the ABA uses a limited amount of criteria for its ratings, so Judge Goodwin’s confirmation process shouldn’t be slowed down.

“We deeply appreciate that the White House remains steadfast in their nomination of Judge Goodwin, and look forward to him receiving a full and fair consideration by the Senate Judiciary committee,” the senators said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The ABA rates judges as “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified” based on an evaluation of the individual’s integrity, competence and judicial temperament.

Democrats say the rating is the “gold standard” for evaluating judicial picks — though they have still tried to block picks that received “well-qualified” ratings, such as Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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