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Federal Judges

Federal Judges: The Appointing Process

Copyright Date: 1972
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Federal Judges
    Book Description:

    An analysis and evaluation of the appointing process as it applies to federal judges who serve in the U.S. courts of appeals, district courts, court of claims, court of customs and patent appeals, and customs court. The author proposes changes to improve the federal judicial system. The book has been a selection of the Lawyers’ Literary Club.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6181-7
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-xiv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-2)
  3. CHAPTER I An Overview
    (pp. 3-47)

    All major league baseball games are played under a well-defined set of rules and customs by teams of players manning prescribed positions, yet it is probably a safe bet that no two games in major league baseball history have been exactly alike. These generalizations about the national pastime provide a good analogy for the process of appointing federal judges. Such appointments are made pursuant to law and custom largely by a “lineup” of individuals who man prescribed positions. In making appointments, the “players” interact within the framework of law and custom differently each time. This is not to suggest that...

  4. CHAPTER II The Kennedy Administration
    (pp. 48-88)

    The kennedy administration was confronted by a unique situation in its first two years. Because legislation in 1961 provided for a host of new judgeships, the president and his aides had in relative terms an enormous number of judgeships to fill quickly. The magnitude of the task was described by Bernard Segal, then the chairman of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, in his statement to the ABA House of Delegates on August 7,1962:

    In the matter of judicial appointments, the year which has elapsed since this House last met is without precedent in American history. ....

  5. CHAPTER III The Eisenhower Administration
    (pp. 89-119)

    Despite the later views of the Republican judicial appointmentmakers that their counterparts in the Kennedy administration had abandoned the guidelines which they, the Republicans, had established and the views of the Kennedy men that the Eisenhower people had a much better press with respect to judicial appointments than they deserved, the truth of the matter is that the procedures developed by the Eisenhower administration and the performance under those procedures were markedly like those of the Kennedy administration, described at length in the last chapter. This is attested to by the detailed description of the process written in 1957 by...

  6. CHAPTER IV The American Bar Association Committee
    (pp. 120-164)

    At the outset, two observations about the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary of the American Bar Association come to mind. First, in view of lawyers’ natural interest in and concern about the quality of the men who serve as judges, and in view of the important, albeit the changing, role that the committee has come to play, it is surprising that it was not until 1952, one hundred and sixty-three years after the Constitution was adopted—seventy-four years after the ABA was established—that the organized bar was able to insert itself in the selection of federal judges in a...

  7. CHAPTER V The Johnson Administration
    (pp. 165-185)

    With respect to judicial selection, Lyndon B. Johnson began his administration under less than auspicious circumstances. Six nominations made by President Kennedy were still awaiting confirmation at the time of the assassination; in addition, one, Thornberry, had been confirmed by the Senate but had not been formally appointed.¹ With understandable and admirable loyalty to the late president, Johnson proceeded with the formalities required to ensure that these appointees would become federal judges. He could have intervened if he had wanted to, to withdraw the names of the six and, presumably, could have refused to make the formal appointment of Thornberry....

  8. CHAPTER VI Conclusions
    (pp. 186-208)

    Evaluating the appointing process is no easy matter.On its face,the process appears plausible enough, but one which inevitably allows the courts to be infested with mediocrities and more than occasionally plagued by the appointment of scoundrels. Many an august voice has been raised to give credence to such an assessment. Erwin Griswold, while dean of the Harvard Law School, did not exempt the federal judiciary from his condemnation of the selection of judges in his annual report of 1964:

    The basic complaint goes back to the fact that the generally controlling basis for the selection of judges in...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 209-224)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 225-240)