Bar Associations Turn to Lobbying Firm for Help on Judicial Nominations

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A Washington, D.C., lobbying firm has an unusual niche lobbying on behalf of judicial candidates.

Founded last year by lobbyist Vincent Eng, the Eng Group represents minority bar associations that endorse the nominees, the Washington Post reports. Clients include the National Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Though Eng isn’t hired by the nominees, he does advise them about the confirmation process and help prepare them for hearings, the story says.

Eng got noticed when he was working for a different lobbying firm last year on behalf of Goodwin Liu, a University of California at Berkeley law professor nominated to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the story says. Eng handed out campaign pins reading “Good Win Good,” and bumper stickers that read, “Goodwin! www.confirmnow.org.”

Liu’s nomination was blocked by a Republican filibuster, but he was later appointed to the California Supreme Court. Two other nominees backed by Eng fared better in the Senate: Jacqueline Nguyen and Paul Watford, who were confirmed to the 9th Circuit last month.

Eng estimates that lobbying on behalf of nominees supplies about 5 percent of his firm’s revenue. But judicial nominations are “the funnest part of the job,” Eng tells the Post.

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