The ABA maintains a firm commitment to the preservation and improvement of the judicial system. We stand ready to respond to attacks on judicial independence and any other threats to the fair, impartial and efficient administration of justice.
For a nation based on the rule of law, nothing is more important than the impartiality and integrity of our court system.
ABA Past President Linda KIein
Evaluations of nominees to the Federal Courts
Since the Eisenhower administration, the ABA has evaluated the professional qualifications of nominees to the Supreme Court. In reviews of Supreme Court nominees, lawyers on the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary conduct the most extensive nationwide peer review possible, resulting in hundreds of confidential interviews.
The focus is on integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament. The Committee does not consider a nominee’s philosophy, political affiliation or ideology. In a recent unanimous decision, the Committee gave Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil M. Gorsuch its strongest affirmative endorsement – Well Qualified.
The Committee was the first public witness invited by the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify at Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing. The Committee also evaluates nominees to the federal district and appellate courts. Currently, there are more than 100 empty seats on our federal courts.
Support of an independent judiciary
Most people learn about the courts through the media – both news and entertainment. They may read headlines about a judge making an unpopular decision or get hooked on a television program that focuses on courtroom drama.
The ABA upholds judicial independence and the preservation of fair and impartial courts. The Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, composed of non-judge members, works to safeguard the ability of the courts to remain independent and identifies potential reforms to the judicial system.
This group works with legal organizations throughout the country to respond to attacks on the judiciary, ensure adequate funding of the judicial system and increase public understanding of the role of the judicial branch.
Recently, the Committee has convened meetings between judges and journalists for open discussions about the nuances of the courts and pressures of the media. The goal is to achieve more accurate reporting, thereby instilling the greatest public confidence in both the courts and the press.
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