White House tells ABA it won't be asked to review lower court judicial candidates before nomination
The White House has notified the ABA that President Donald Trump's administration doesn’t intend to ask for a review of possible judicial nominees to the lower federal courts before their names are announced.
ABA President Linda A. Klein revealed the White House decision in a statement Friday.
“The American Bar Association has been notified that the White House does not intend to follow the long-standing practice of inviting the independent ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary to review the professional qualifications of prospective nominees to the lower federal courts on a pre-nomination basis,” Klein said.
The standing committee will continue to provide its evaluations to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the judicial confirmation process, Klein said.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower first invited the ABA into the nomination process in 1953. Since then, every president except for George W. Bush has asked the ABA to conduct pre-nomination evaluations of possible nominees. Bush ended the association’s early role in nominee screening in 2001, citing a wish to avoid giving the ABA preference over other groups. During his term, the ABA conducted ratings after nomination.
Klein said in the statement that the ABA review “helps to ensure the highest quality judiciary through an objective, nonpartisan review of the professional competence, integrity and judicial temperament of those who would have lifetime appointments to our federal courts. Over the years, the standing committee’s work has done much to instill public confidence and trust in the judiciary.”
The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave its highest rating of well-qualified to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.