Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) during a hearing in Washington on Oct. 18 (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency/Rex/Shutterstock)

The Nov. 9 editorial “Unqualified to serve?” complained that the White House has cut the American Bar Association out of the judicial-nominations loop. But it is unsurprising that the White House would choose to do so, given that the ABA patently applies one set of standards to Democrats’ nominees and another to Republicans’.  

For example, the ABA recently declared our friend and Harvard Law School classmate Brett Talley to be “not qualified” to serve as a judge, supposedly based on his purported lack of litigation experience. Although Mr. Talley has been out of law school for only 10 years, it has been a rather productive decade of legal practice for him, including three years of prestigious federal clerkships at the trial and appellate court levels and three oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit as Alabama’s deputy solicitor general. In this respect, Mr. Talley is akin to Judge Alison Nathan, whom President Barack Obama nominated to the federal bench when she was just 11 years out of law school and who had spent less than six years as a litigator. A majority of the ABA committee rated Ms. Nathan as “qualified” — which she most assuredly was and which Mr. Talley undoubtedly is by any neutral standard.  

The ABA is free to issue press releases, just like any other organization with an ideological bent. But it does not deserve a special seat at the table.

Elliott M. Davis, Washington

C. Wallace DeWitt, Alexandria