In 2017 the Judicial Division published Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias, addressing the issue of implicit bias on the bench and providing approaches to lessen the impact. The book seeks to help “break the bias habit” by increasing knowledge and awareness of implicit bias, improved understanding and practice of procedural fairness and of culturally competent communication and cultures, and a sustained commitment to mindfulness.
In 2017 the Judicial Division and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law published a manual providing guidance on how courts can increase diversity among federal magistrate and bankruptcy judges. This joint publication was created following the passage of Resolution 102 at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, which was developed following a roundtable discussion of the issue hosted by the Judicial Division’s Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary at the 2015 ABA Annual Meeting. In 2018 District Judge Carlton W. Reeves wrote an opinion highlighting the lack of diversity on the federal bench, and cited the publication.
Resolution 116, which adds marital status, gender identity and gender expression to the ABA’s list of reasons jurors should not be denied eligibility for jury service. That provision was not contested, but a second provision called for judges to instruct juries on implicit bias—biases that may not be entirely conscious—and encourage them not to make decisions based on personal likes or dislikes of protected classes. Both halves of the resolution amend the ABA Principles for Juries and Jury Trials.