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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78287 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Disqualification of Federal Judges by Peremptory Challenge
Author(s): A J Chaset
Corporate Author: Federal Judicial Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 85
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Judicial Ctr
Washington, DC 20002
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Publication Number: FJC-R-81-2
Sale Source: Federal Judicial Ctr
Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, DC 20002
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The desirability of permitting parties in Federal criminal and civil cases to peremptorily challenge and remove the assigned district judge is discussed from the perspective of the Federal judiciary.
Abstract: The call for a peremptory challenge procedure is based partially on dissatisfaction with existing mechanisms for judicial disqualification. Legislation and resolutions supporting peremptory challenges have come from several sources, although the judicial organizations have uniformly opposed it. The judiciary argues that such a change would greatly disrupt calendars, delay the beginning of criminal trials, inhibit judicial independence, and discourage judges from rendering unpopular opinions. The experience of the various States which permit peremptory challenges of trial judges provides support for both proponents and opponents of such challenges. Proponents can conclude that the use of the procedure is too limited to cause much of a problem, while opponents can conclude that the State statutes are unduly burdensome and invite misuse. Many administrative problems would result from permitting peremptory challenges in Federal courts, mainly because of the major differences between the Federal and State court systems. It is concluded that peremptory challenges would not resolve the common complaints about existing disqualification procedures. Instead of increasing public confidence in the judicial system as a whole, a peremptory challenge procedure would exacerbate any existing belief that judges are not to be trusted and that the system is an irrational one designed to allow legal maneuvering, manipulation, and sharp practice. Delays in justice and reduction in judicial independence might also occur. Peremptory challenges could stunt the growth of the law, which depends on imaginative and innovative insights of competent, independent judges. Footnotes and appendixes presenting legislation and American Bar Association resolutions are provided.
Index Term(s): Attorney judge evaluation; Disqualification of judges; Federal courts; Judges
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