A former Nevada solicitor general nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association in a scathing letter released on the eve of his confirmation hearing.

A majority of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary called Lawrence VanDyke “highly educated” but said concerns were raised that he missed fundamental issues and analysis in the cases he handled, according to the letter, which sparked a backlash from some observers who called the ABA itself biased.

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