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The American Bar Association has called for an FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.
Reuters/Jim Bourg
“Thoroughly vetted.”
By Isabella Steger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Just three weeks ago, the American Bar Association (ABA) gave Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh its highest rating. It was an endorsement touted by Kavanaugh himself, Republican lawmakers, and even heavyweight GOP donor Charles Koch.

Last night (Sept. 27), just one day before the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, the ABA called for a delay of the nominee’s confirmation until the FBI investigates the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him by women including Christine Blasey Ford, who testified at the Senate yesterday.

A copy of the ABA’s letter, addressed to committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein and chairman Charles Grassley, was obtained by various media outlets. The letter was signed by Robert M. Carlson, the ABA’s president.

In the letter, the ABA says that the allegations made against Kavanaugh “require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI,” and that rushing to a vote would tarnish the reputation of both the Senate and the Supreme Court. The top court, the ABA said, “must remain an institution that will reliably follow the law and not politics.”

Read the letter below:

Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:

The American Bar Association urges the United States Senate Judiciary Committee (and, as appropriate, the full Senate) to conduct a confirmation vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States only after an appropriate background check into the allegations made by Professor Ford and others is completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

We make this request because of the ABA’s respect for the rule of law and due process under law. The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI.

Each appointment to our nation’s Highest Court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote. Deciding to proceed without conducting additional investigation would not only have a lasting impact on the Senate’s reputation, but it will also negatively affect the great trust necessary for the American people to have in the Supreme Court. It must remain an institution that will reliably follow the law and not politics.

Respectfully, the Senate should recognize that a thorough FBI investigation will demonstrate its commitment to a Supreme Court that is above reproach.

Thank you for your consideration of this critically important matter.


Robert M. Carlson

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