Explanation of ABA Ratings

Here is how the ABA defines its qualification ratings for federal judicial nominees:

Q: "The rating of 'Qualified' means that the nominee satisfies the Committee’s very high standards with respect to integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament, and that the Committee believes that the nominee is qualified to perform all of the duties and responsibilities required of a federal judge."

WQ: "To merit a rating of 'Well Qualified,' the nominee must be at the top of the legal profession in his or her legal community; have outstanding legal ability, breadth of experience, and the highest reputation for integrity; and demonstrate the capacity for sound judicial temperament."

According to Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy, the ABA rating is “the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged.” (But only if the candidate is a Democrat, it seems.)