The American Bar Association is currently lobbying in favor of the Akaka Bill, having sent a letter this week to every US Senator in favor of its passage.  This is much less impressive than it sounds.   Much like The Simpsons or David Lee Roth, the ABA is a shadow of its former self, living off the credibility of a name that too few have realized no longer carries any guarantee of quality or professionalism.

So when did the ABA jump the shark?  It’s hard to say . . . it’s really one of those incremental things.  Until one day you wake up and they’re applying purely political considerations to their evaluation of judicial nominees.  Among those people who follow such things, it’s common knowledge that the ABA no longer has any credibility as a neutral arbiter of constitutional interpretation or judicial ability.  Now, it functions more like a mouthpiece for the left wing of the Democratic party.  Take the aforementioned letter to the US Senate on the Akaka Bill.  One might imagine that the American Bar Association would present a neutral evaluation of the constitutionality and possible objections to the bill.  Don’t make me laugh.  In essence, it’s little more than a distillation of the same arguments presented by the pro-Akaka Lobby.  In fact, it bears such a similarity to an OHA column that one hopes the ABA didn’t spend too much money to produce such a propagandist rehash.

Of course, that’s how the game is played nowadays . . . bias disguised as neutral analysis is par for the course in modern politics.  It’s just a shame that such politics-as-usual methods are preventing a true debate on the merits of the bill and its possible impact on Hawaii.

Malia Hill is a blogger for, a project of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.