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.”