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March 2017 Issue


This Month's Articles

ABA rates Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch “Well Qualified”

The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary submitted a detailed written statement for the record of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch and testified before the Senate committee March 23 to explain the basis for awarding the nominee its highest rating of “Well Qualified.” Gorsuch, who has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit since 2006, was nominated Feb. 1 by President Trump to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

House passes Rule 11 legislation to require sanctions against lawyers filing frivolous cases

The House passed legislation by a 230-188 vote March 10 to require mandatory monetary sanctions against lawyers who file non-meritorious lawsuits. The ABA-opposed bill, H.R. 720, would amend Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by rolling back critical improvements made to the rule in 1993 and reinstating a mandatory sanction provision that was adopted in 1983 but eliminated 10 years later after experience revealed its unintended, adverse consequences.

House passes class action legislation despite strong opposition from ABA, Judicial Conference

The House passed a bill March 9 that would circumvent the traditional judicial rulemaking process and amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to severely limit the ability of victims who have suffered a legitimate harm to seek justice collectively in a class action lawsuit. H.R. 985, which passed 220-201 with one voting present, is opposed by the ABA, the Judicial Conference of the United States, numerous legal and consumer organizations, and groups representing veterans and servicemembers.

ABA expresses concerns about Trump revised immigration order; federal courts declare order discriminatory, block enforcement

ABA President Linda A. Klein expressed the ABA’s concerns this month about a revised Trump administration executive order seeking to suspend immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, maintaining that the new order issued March 6 would continue to try to exclude immigrants and visitors from six countries based solely on their nationality without regard to whether they actually present a national security risk.

Washington News Briefs

About the Washington Letter

The ABA Washington Letter is a monthly publication produced by the Governmental Affairs Office to report and analyze congressional and executive branch action on legislative issues of interest to the ABA and the legal profession. The newsletter highlights ABA involvement in the federal legislative process and focuses on the association's legislative and governmental priorities and other issues on which the ABA has policy.

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