After the American Bar Association gave President Donald Trump’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit nominee an “unqualified rating,” Sen. Ted Cruz questioned the organization’s vetting methods and political bias in a Senate hearing Wednesday.

Cruz, A Republican from Texas, said the ABA is a liberal advocacy organization masquerading as a neutral reviewer evaluating judicial nominees. He said ABA members give money to Democratic candidates, and the organization typically supports liberal political positions. The chair of the ABA committee that conducts judicial evaluations, Pamela Bresnahan, pushed back on the accusations of bias throughout the hearing, explaining that the committee’s ratings are the result of hundreds of interviews conducted with a nominee’s peers.

Pamela Bresnahan, chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary of the American Bar Association, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM.

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