Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara raised questions Wednesday about President Donald Trump's judicial nominees, saying "the responsibility to nominate well-qualified, honorable people with good records and the right credentials comes from the president."
"They're going to be deciding issues that most often don't get reviewed by any court higher than the district court and certainly not higher than the appellate court," Bharara, who served in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
"Very rarely, the Supreme Court chimes in.
"These are people who are going to be presiding over cases and controversies as the final arbiters of what happens," he added. "It goes long, long, long beyond the legacy of a particular president's term."
CNN reported Wednesday that eight of President Trump's nominees for appellate judgeships so far have been approved and confirmation hearings for six others for federal and appellate positions were being heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.
In addition, 46 of Trump's 62 nominees have been rated well qualified or qualified by the American Bar Association, CNN reports.
Four were rated not qualified, including Brett Talley, 36, a lawyer who is being nominated as a federal district court judge in Alabama.
Talley has admitted he has never tried a case, AL.com reports, and he did not disclose his marriage to a White House lawyer in questionnaires submitted to U.S. senators.
The NAACP also slammed the White House after the Associated Press reported Monday that 91 percent of Trump's judicial nominees so far are white, with 81 percent being male.
Three of every four nominees are white men, according to the report, and few African-Americans and Hispanics are in the mix.
The last president to nominate a similarly composed group was George H.W. Bush.
Kyle Barry, senior policy counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told AP that when diversity is lacking, "there's a clear perception where the courts are not a place people can go and vindicate their civil rights."
Referring specifically to Talley's nomination, however, Bharara told Blitzer: "When you have an independent, bipartisan group of people like the American Bar Association — and there's a unanimous recommendation of 'not qualified,' that's something we don't see a lot of."
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