Joe O’Dea Loves Him Some Unqualified Judges

We noted earlier today that you might want to be particularly nice to transportation workers in the near future after a federal mask mandate was overturned by a Florida judge. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida ruled on Monday that a federal mask mandate “exceeds the statutory authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

This prompted a social media response from Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea targeting incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet:


But as Newsweek explains, Bennet had a very good reason for not supporting the nomination of Mizelle, who was nominated by then-President Donald Trump in August 2020:

Trump’s nomination of Mizelle drew criticism from some in the legal community. At the time, the American Bar Association (ABA) wrote in a letter to Senators Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein they determined she was “not qualified” for the position. [Pols emphasis]

In the letter, the ABA wrote Mizelle began to practice law eight years earlier — a “departure” from the 12-year minimum the ABA’s committee uses as a benchmark for determining qualifications of nominees — and that she had not tried a case as lead or co-counsel.

O’Dea is trying to earn some political points for attacking Bennet here, but it’s a bad look for the Denver developer. O’Dea is basically saying that he’s totally fine with confirming unqualified judges to high court appointments…which is a weird position to take.

In a Republican Senate Primary against a far-right opponent like State Rep. Ron Hanks, perhaps O’Dea seems some strategic value in confirming that he would be a rubber stamp for conservative nominees to any judgeship. The problem, of course, is that a General Election audience will be significantly less enthusiastic about O’Dea’s apparent disinterest in “qualifications.”

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    Was really bored so I looked up the Senate vote. All Ds who voted were against the unqualified judge, and yes, that includes SineManch or whatever we're supposed to call the DINOmic Duo. It wouldn't have made a difference but five Ds plus Bernie did not vote. Final vote – 49-41 in favor, 10 did not vote.

  2. Voting for ABA Unqualified judges has a certain cachet among the Republican reactionary crowd, who views the ABA as "liberal". Just more "own the libs" idiocy.

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      An unqualified judge was appointed to a judgeship by an unqualified president. What more could you expect?

      Trump is not the first president to pack the courts with unqualified appointees. Nixon elevated it to a high art form with his nominations of Clement Haynesworth and G. Harold Carswell.

      One of the more MAGA-esque endorsements came from then Senator Roman Hruska of Nebraska who replied to critics who said Carswell had been rated as mediocre. Hruska said, "Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?"

      Both were rejected by the Senate in 1970 paving the way for Lewis Powell and William Rhenquist – who obviously looked good compared to Haynesworth and Carswell.

      As for Carswell, he had another 15 minutes of Warholian fame in his life when it was discovered that he was another one of those wide-stance conservatives.

       G. Harrold Carswell, Nixon nomineeTALLAHASSEE, Fla. –… – Baltimore Sun


  3. ElliotFladen says:


    The ABA ratings system have been a political process for so long, “no one cares anymore” about them, Thomas Jipping, deputy director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said. 




  4. harrydoby says:

    with apologies to Barry Goldwater:

    Incompetence in defense of extremism is OK in the GOP.

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