Career Development » ABA Cut Out Of Judicial Nomination Process

ABA Cut Out Of Judicial Nomination Process

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April 3, 2017

Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, wrote a letter on March 17 to American Bar Association president Linda Klein. “Like previous administrations,” McGahn wrote, “we will release information regarding each nominee in a manner that provides equal access to all interested groups. But we do not intend to give any professional organizations special access to our nominees.” With that, the Trump administration joins the George W. Bush administration as the only regimes since Dwight D. Eisenhower to forego 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. The decision eliminates the ABA’s “objective, nonpartisan review of the professional competence, integrity and judicial temperament of those who would have lifetime appointments to our federal courts,” Klein said in a statement. “Over the years, the standing committee’s work has done much to instill public confidence and trust in the judiciary.” Klein noted that the ABA, through its standing committee, will continue to provide its objective evaluations to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the judicial confirmation process.

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