Third Trump Judicial Nominee Gets ‘Not Qualified’ Rating

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By Patrick L. Gregory

Holly Lou Teeter isn’t qualified to sit on the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, according to an American Bar Association rating released today.

The rating is the third “not qualified” designation given to one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees and, in this case, could be due to a lack of experience by ABA standards.

A federal judicial nominee “ordinarily should have at least” 12 years’ "experience in the practice of law,” according to an ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary report, which Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) cited in questions she submitted to Teeter.

Teeter graduated law school in 2006 and is currently an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

The ABA hasn’t released its reasoning for the rating, which was supported by a “substantial majority” of the Standing Committee. A minority rated her as “qualified,” but not “well qualified.”

Teeter clerked for two Democratic-appointed federal judges: Judge Brian C. Wimes of the Western District of Missouri and Judge Carlos Murguia of the District of Kansas.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) applauded the nomination, saying that since “graduating first in her class at the University of Kansas’ School of Law,” she’s “demonstrated an outstanding academic and intellectual ability.”

She’s “educated as a chemical engineer and has utilized her scientific expertise to help establish rules governing patent law cases,” Roberts said.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) also praised the nomination, describing Teeter as “one of the brightest young legal minds in our state.”

Teeter was a patent law clerk at Los Alamos National Security LLC, Los Alamos, N.M., from 2006 to 2007.

From 2007 to 2011, she was an associate attorney at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Kansas City, Mo.

She “typically represented large corporate clients accused of patent infringement,” Teeter said in her responses to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire for nominees.

President Donald Trump nominated her for the judgeship on Aug. 3.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick L. Gregory in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at

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