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Lawyers to Executive/Congress -- Leave Judicial Selection up to Us

Today's Wall Street Journal reports on an alarming judicial coup proposed by the ABA:

According to the proposal, future federal judges would be selected not by an elected President, but with the aid of home-state Senators and a bipartisan commission that would provide a list of recommended nominees for judicial vacancies. The White House would then select a candidate from the preapproved list. The commission would be created by the two Senators from each state to offer up consensus choices for federal nominees.

Right. Just what we need. Less democratic accountability and more influence from the self-proclaimed "fourth" branch of lawyers into the selection of judges. As the opinion piece notes, states that have experimented with this so-called "merit" (paging Mr. Orwell) selection of judges have found that back-room, lawyer-controlled lists were being forced on the political, accountable branches. The ABA's past record of deeming "unqualified" judges who do not conform with its expansionist view of judicial power makes it a particularly compromised and unqualified arbiter.

The ABA is nothing more than a trade group for an already too-influential profession and its proposal to give itself, and ultimately an unelected lawyer-loaded commission, a role of this constitutional magnitude is what they politely call hubristic.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.