The ABA Judgemaker Committee is Exposed, Albeit Shaded from FACA Sunshine

Victor Williams, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law


This Article will first describe the historical development, membership, and evaluation processes of the ABA Committee. Second, the ABA's asserted need for confidentiality and the effects of an ABA rating on judicial nominees will be discussed, with examples of recent controversial ratings. Next, this Article will analyze the Supreme Court decision in Washington Legal Foundation v. United States Department of Justice et al. and Public Citizen v. United States Department of Justice et al. which were heard and decided together. Fourth, the possible impacts of the Court's judgement and the two contrasting opinions will be examined. Finally, this Article will propose a focus for efforts to curb the ABA Committee's abuse of power. This focus will specifically develop six immediate reforms necessary if the ABA is to retain it's powerful role in the federal judicial appointment process.