Remember how exultant the left was that our new president was a constitutional scholar?

No more shredding the constitution a la the dumb guy from Texas! No more mediocrities nominated for judicial positions!

Well, as it turns out, a significant number of President Obama’s choices for the bench have been deemed subpar by none other than the American Bar Association.

The New York Times reported yesterday:

The American Bar Association has secretly declared a significant number of President Obama’s potential judicial nominees “not qualified,” slowing White House efforts to fill vacant judgeships — and nearly all of the prospects given poor ratings were women or members of a minority group, according to interviews.   

The White House has chosen not to nominate any person the bar association deemed unqualified, so their identities and negative ratings have not been made public. But the association’s judicial vetting committee has opposed 14 of the roughly 185 potential nominees the administration asked it to evaluate, according to a person familiar with the matter.

And this has got to hurt:

The number of Obama prospects deemed “not qualified” already exceeds the total number opposed by the group during the eight-year administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; the rejection rate is more than three and a half times as high as it was under either of the previous two presidencies, documents and interviews show.

The article reports that administration officials are puzzled by the low ratings. They are concerned that the ABA panelists “place too much value on courtroom experience at the expense of lawyers who pursued career paths less likely to involve trials, like government lawyers and law professors.”

In other words, the administration is perplexed that the ABA places such a high premium on legal experience.

I am going to go out on a limb and make a wild guess that the administration picks candidates on the basis of ideology or minority status. Two minority candidates were originally rated “not qualified” but were switched to “qualified” after the White House asked the panel to take a second look. Oh, well, they aren’t going to be operating on you.

Jonathan Tobin notes on Commentary:

Considering that this stern verdict comes from an organization clearly sympathetic to Obama’s politics and judicial philosophy, these figures speak volumes about the poor quality of those tapped for the bench by the Democrats in the last three years and the abysmal standards by which they were held by the president.

If you’d like to know something about hiring of legal talent within the Obama Justice Department, I recommend J. Christian Adams’s book Injustice. Adams is the DOJ veteran who left because of the department's refusal to prosecute case of the Black Panthers accused of brandishing a weapon at a Philadelphia polling place. He portrays a DOJ where less competent candidates are often hired because they hail from the “right” leftist organizations.