Unqualified Judge Confirmed In Close Vote With Joni Ernst’s Help

By Nikoel Hytrek

December 11, 2019

This afternoon Sen. Joni Ernst voted to confirm Lawrence VanDyke to a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

VanDyke was confirmed by a vote of 51-44.

For the past few days, Ernst has been one of the senators targeted by progressive judicial advocacy group Demand Justice to vote no on the nomination.

VanDyke has strong connections to groups like the National Rifle Association and previous comments from him suggest he would be resistant to supporting any gun safety legislation that comes before him.

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He’s also been rated “Not Qualified” by the American Bar Association because: “Mr. VanDyke’s accomplishments are offset by the assessments of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-today practice including procedural rules. There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an “entitlement” temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful.”

Former colleagues who were interviewed also expressed concern that VanDyke would rule negatively when it came to LGBTQ issues.

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by Nikoel Hytrek
Posted 12/11/19

  • Nikoel Hytrek

    Nikoel Hytrek is Iowa Starting Line’s longest-serving reporter. She covers LGBTQ issues, abortion rights and all topics of interest to Iowans. Her biggest goal is to help connect the dots between policy and people’s real lives. If you have story ideas or tips, send them over to [email protected].

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