Annual Meeting 2008

ABA Proposes Bipartisan Judicial Selection Process

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Updated: Senators from each state should jointly appoint bipartisan commissions of lawyers and others to recommend the names of attorneys to fill federal trial court vacancies that the senators might recommend to the president, the ABA’s 555-member policy-making House of Delegates recommended today.

Bipartisan commissions should also be used by the president to help him fill vacancies on the U.S. Courts of Appeal, according to Resolution 118 (PDF).

The measure was sought by new ABA President H. Thomas Wells Jr., who has said he intends to lobby on behalf of a less contentious judicial selection process with both presidential candidates.

A similar process was widely used during the Carter administration and survived in some states into the Reagan administration. By contrast, in some instances, the Bush administration has nominated attorneys for the bench who were not recommended by the senators of a given state.

The measure passed on an overwhelming voice vote, with no one speaking in opposition.

Annual Meeting 2008:

Read more news from the ABA Annual Meeting.

See candid photographs of attendees on Flickr.

Additional coverage:

Associated Press: “ABA seeks to reduce bipartisan fight on judges”

Legal Times: “New ABA President Speaks Out on Judiciary”

Updated at 5:50 p.m., central time, to include links to additional coverage.

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