Michael Wallace – Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Wallace’s nomination was withdrawn.

Wallace Unanimously Given Rare “Not Qualified” Rating By ABA. According to the Associated Press, “The American Bar Association rated one of President Bush’s judicial nominees ‘not qualified’ Wednesday, prompting a call from a liberal group for the president to withdraw the Mississippi lawyer’s nomination. A panel of the nation’s largest lawyers group voted unanimously to give its lowest rating to Michael Wallace, Bush’s nominee for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. […] An unanimous ‘not qualified’ rating is rare from the ABA, which has graded judicial candidates since the 1950s on three factors: integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament.” [Associated Press, 5/11/06]

ABA Investigator: Legal Professionals Believed Wallace Lacked “Freedom From Bias.” According to NPR, American Bar Association investigator Kim Askew said, “Judges and lawyers who had interacted with Mr. Wallace concluded that he lacked the freedom from bias necessary to be an effective judge. They believed he would not follow the law or would ignore it if he disagreed with it.” [NPR, 9/27/06]

ABA Investigator: Legal Professionals Repeatedly Warned That Wallace “Had Not Shown A Commitment To Equal Justice.” According to American Bar Association investigator Kim Askew’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “One of the negative comments expressed over and over, and often with great emotion and concern for the system, was that Mr. Wallace had not shown a commitment to equal justice under the law. Lawyers and judges stated that Mr. Wallace did not understand or care about issues central to the lives of the poor, minorities, the marginalized, the have-nots, and those who do not share his view of the world. These concerns were most often discussed in the context of Voting Rights Act cases and other issues involving constitutional rights.” [Kim Askew Testimony, 7/19/06]

Wallace Is A Federalist Society Member And Worked For Republican Establishment. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Wallace had served as counsel to Senator Trent Lott during President Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial. A Federalist Society member and lawyer for the Mississippi Republican Party, he received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and JD from the University of Virginia.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/11/06]

NAACP Representative: Wallace Has “Incredible Hostility To Civil Rights.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “Civil rights leaders decried his nomination back in January. Derrick Johnson of the NAACP told the Clarion-Ledger: Just one day after President Bush pays tribute to Coretta Scott King, he nominates a person with incredible hostility to civil rights for the [Fifth] Circuit, which has the highest number of African-American and Latino residents in the country.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/11/06]

Wallace Believed Bob Jones University Should Get A Tax Break Despite Racial Discrimination. According to People for the American Way, “Mr. Wallace has testified that he ‘personally’ believed that the Reagan Justice Department ‘was correct’ in arguing that Bob Jones University should receive tax-exempt status despite its racially discriminatory policies, an argument that had been rejected by an 8-1 vote of the Supreme Court.” [People for the American Way, 9/25/06]