Liberal group criticizes Bibas but does not come out against his nomination

The liberal-leaning Alliance for Justice today released a report detailing its concerns about Third Circuit nominee Stephanos Bibas.

The report does not take the position that Bibas should not be confirmed. That strikes me as a significant departure from AFJ’s other similar reports — David Stras, Allison Eid, Amy Coney Barrett — all opposing those nominations. Instead, AFJ’s Bibas report just identifies “troubling” statements and urges Senators to scrutinize him carefully.

The report twice cites posts from this blog.

Here’s my two cents. I’m still eager to see the Vetting Room‘s take on Bibas. He’s a nominee with a massive paper trail, and only time will tell whether anyone comes up with anything fatal. But, on a first read, I see nothing in AFJ’s report that strikes me as likely to threaten his confirmation, and I see AFJ’s decision not to come out against the nomination as telling. So I see this report as reason to be more confident Bibas will be confirmed, not less.

Professor Douglas Berman posted about the report on his widely read Sentencing Law and Policy blog, here. Berman wrote:

For a host or reasons, I am disinclined to engage with the particulars of the AFJ report. But I am inclined to predict that Prof Bibas, based on his past criminal justice work and writings, will be much more inclined to respect criminal defendants’ rights than many other past and future judicial nominees.

Update: criminal law professor Carissa Hessick criticizes the AFJ report in this Twitter thread.