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Local Lawyers Say Judge Nominee Not Ready

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President George Bush's pick for a Pittsburgh-based federal judgeship isn't yet primed for the bench, according to the Allegheny County Bar Association. The Bar Association rated 37-year-old lawyer and nominee Tom Hardiman "Not Recommended at this Time," which means he "may have the potential to excel as a judge, but & is not yet at that stage," according to a July 8 press release.

Hardiman had earlier been rated qualified by the national American Bar Association, though a minority of that organization's rating committee deemed him unqualified. Bush administration policy bars federal judicial nominees from answering media questions.

As City Paper first reported ("Bush's Chosen One," June 25 ), Bush's nomination of Republican political player Hardiman has spurred questions from Democrats in the Senate regarding his experience and the arguments he's made while defending accused discriminators. Senate offices contacted by City Paper after the Allegheny County Bar Association's announcement said they didn't know when a vote on the nomination might occur, or whether the rating would have any effect.

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