Diversity Related Resolutions

Diversity Related Resolutions

ABA House of Delegates
Racial and Ethnic Diversity Related Resolutions

The House of Delegates is the principal place where the association makes policy and sets the goals for the association. It is where representatives of all the constituent parts of the ABA, state and local bars and affiliated organizations come together to debate and consider professional and public policy matters in order to develop and express an association point of view.

Policies approved by the House impact the entire association. These policies become the basis for determining association priorities, and the foundation upon which the association lobbies Congress, writes letters to federal agencies and partners with other bar associations.

The following policies relate to Racial & Ethnic Diversity issues.


REPORT NO. 104D – Cross-Racial Identification

Urges federal state, local, and territorial jurisdictions to recognize that in particular cases cross-racial identification may increase the risk of erroneous conviction.

REPORT NO. 107 – Child Welfare System

Urges Congress to change laws to broaden federal review of the disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic minority children in the child welfare system and require and fund states to tract, report, analyze and take and report on correction action.

REPORT NO. 118 – Judicial Nomination and Confirmation Process

  • Supports the selection as federal judges of men and women of diverse backgrounds and experiences, whose professional competence, integrity, and judicial temperament, including commitment to equal justice under law, fully qualify them to serve in the federal judiciary.
  • Encourages the senators in each state jointly and the delegates in each territory to appoint (in cooperation with others not of their party when appropriate) bipartisan commissions of lawyers and other leaders, reflecting the diversity of the profession and the community, to evaluate the qualifications of prospective district judges and to recommend possible nominees whom their senators or delegate might suggest for the President’s consideration.


Adopts a new mission, four goals and objectives of the American Bar Association; one of the four goals focuses on diversity:


1. Promote full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons.

2. Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the Justice System.



Adopts the Model Court Rule on Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disasters, February 2008, and amends Comment [14] to Rule 5.5 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct supported by ABA Center on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity.


Encourages jurisdictions to pass laws that require the provision of evidence-based pre-court diversion and early intervention services for youth who are alleged to have committed status offenses, such as truancy, ungovernability or running away and supports the use of in-home or community-based services as an alternative to secure detention.



Concurs in the action of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in adopting revisions to Standards 210-212 concerning equal opportunity and diversity, of the Standards for Approval of Law Schools and the Interpretation of the Standards, dated August 2006.


Urges Congress to create and appropriate funds for a Commission to study and make findings relating to the present day social, political and economic consequences of both slavery and the denial thereafter of equal justice under law for persons of African descent living in the United States and authorizes the Commission to propose public policies or governmental actions, if any, that may be appropriate to address such consequences – supported by ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice.


Urges all state, territorial and local bar associations to work with national, state and territorial bar examiners, law schools, universities, and elementary and secondary schools to address significant problems facing minorities within the pipeline to the profession – supported by the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice.


Report No. 110

Amends the Comment to Section 2 of the Model Rule of Minimum Continuing Legal Education to require lawyers, as part of their mandatory continuing legal education either through a separate credit or through existing ethics and professionalism credits, to complete programs related to the promotion of racial and ethnic diversity in the profession, the promotion of full and equal participation in the profession of women and persons with disabilities and the elimination of all forms of bias in the profession – supported by the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

Report No. 121B

Urges state, territories and the federal government to strive to eliminate actual and perceived racial and ethnic bias in the criminal justice system and recommends the establishment of Criminal Justice Racial Task Forces to reduce or eliminate racial disparities at each state of the criminal justice process.


Report No. 10C

Opposes the text of the “Racial Privacy Initiative” or any similar measure which would prohibit any public entity from collecting or sorting any data on the basis of race or ethnicity.

Report 101B

Urges state, local and territorial bar associations, judges, prosecutors, defenders and police to address disparate treatment of racial and ethnic minority youth in the justice system and encourages state and local bar associations and law enforcement to instill public confidence in the fairness of the justice system by ensuring the fair treatment of all youth.