President Trump’s nominee to the 9th Circuit Court broke down in tears at his Senate confirmation hearing this week after the American Bar Association declared him unfit for the post.
Lawrence VanDyke served as Nevada’s solicitor general under Attorney General Adam Laxalt and currently serves as a deputy attorney general for Environment and Natural Resources at the Justice Department.
The bar association letter released the night before his testimony concluded that VanDyke was arrogant, lazy and an ideologue. The letter said the bar association reached that conclusion after 60 interviews, adding some of those interviewed questioned whether VanDyke could be fair to members of the LGBT community.
In response to questions about that, he told the Senate committee: “It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God and they should be treated with dignity and respect.”
Asked if he could do that, he said he would not have accepted the nomination if he didn’t believe he could.
Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, both D-Nev., had raised concerns about VanDyke’s record when it was announced in September.
Masto took the floor of the Senate to say she and Rosen both oppose his appointment because of his abysmal record on women’s reproductive rights, the environment and LGBTQ rights. She said the ABA letter rated him not qualified for the 9th Circuit Court and that the Senate has never confirmed a nominee to the federal bench who received a rating of “not qualified” from the ABA.
She also pointed out he was nominated without consultation with Nevada’s sitting senators and said that he isn’t a Nevadan, having no ties to the state beyond his tenure with the attorney general’s office.
Rosen followed her to the floor to make the same arguments against VanDyke’s appointment. She said in Montana he used the office of solicitor general to push his own agenda including seeking to have the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
She urged the Senate to vote down the nomination saying she will pledge to work with the Trump administration to find a highly-qualified appointee for the 9th Circuit post.
CNN posted the video of the hearing.