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Statement of ABA President Paulette Brown Re: Supreme Court nomination process

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Statement of ABA President Paulette Brown Re: Supreme Court nomination process

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2016 -- The American Bar Association has as one of its four goals, to advance the Rule of Law. Consistent with this goal, over the past several decades, the American Bar Association has approved policies that urge the President to fulfill constitutional responsibilities and make nominations promptly to fill any Supreme Court and lower federal court vacancies, which has occurred. Our policies call for the Senate likewise to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities to consider and act promptly on the nominees. As the national representative of the legal profession, it is important for us to reiterate our longstanding guidelines and urge the Senate to adhere to the Constitution without regard to political preference. 

To be fully effective and to ensure the highest level of access to justice, the Supreme Court needs a full complement of justices. While the Court will continue to function, any 4-4 decisions will not establish precedent and will leave open questions on issues that are vital to the lives of everyday people. The process must therefore continue to proceed with all deliberate speed.

Since 1955, the American Bar Association has also played a role in evaluating the President’s nominations to the federal courts.  Our Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which is independent of the ABA’s policy-making and governing entities, will once again fulfill its function to undertake an intensive peer review of the qualifications of the nominee.  The Committee will provide its rating to the administration and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and will post it on its website for the public.

Please click here for a biography and photo of Paulette Brown, president of the American Bar Association.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.