Supreme Court Nominations
Posted Feb 21, 2017 01:56 pm CST
The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary is in the process of evaluating the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.
The committee will share the rating information with the administration and the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to the Gorsuch’s hearing. The hearing is scheduled to begin March 20, the New York Times reports.
“Given that these judicial positions are lifetime appointments, it is only prudent to try to gather as much information as possible about the nominees. The American Bar Association, being nonpartisan and national, is uniquely positioned to assist in this area,” ABA President Linda A. Klein said in a statement.
Between 1953 and 2000, every president consulted with the ABA’s standing committee regarding prospective federal judicial nominations, according to information (PDF) published by the standing committee. In 2001, the George W. Bush administration ended the association’s early role in nominee screening, citing a wish to avoid giving the ABA preference over other organizations. The association continued to rate nominees, but it had to wait until after the names were revealed.
In 2009, at the request of the then President Barack Obama’s administration, the ABA resumed reviewing possible judicial nominees before their names were announced.
“For more than 60 years, since the Eisenhower administration, the ABA’s independent Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has evaluated the professional qualifications of nominees to the Supreme Court and lower courts by conducting extensive peer reviews of each nominee’s integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament,” said Klein, who is based in Atlanta. “The ABA does not consider a nominee’s political affiliation, ideology or philosophy.”
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