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NCJ Number: 78345 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: United States District Judge Nominating Commissions - Their Members, Procedures and Candidates
Author(s): A Neff
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 204
Sponsoring Agency: Lilly Endowment, Inc
Indianapolis, IN 46208
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Historical, legal, and survey research are combined to describe the selection of Federal district court judges during the Carter administration.
Abstract: Data for the study were obtained between August 1979 and August 1980 from survey questionnaires mailed to 404 selection commissioners in 28 States and 270 candidates for vacancies. A review of the history of Federal judicial selection for the district courts indicates that the selection process changed substantially during the Carter administration (1977-1980). President Carter encouraged the use of judicial nominating commissions to select Federal judges on the basis of applicants' professional rather than political credentials in order to alter the demographic profile of the judiciary by increasing the representation of women and racial minorities on the Federal bench and to involve representatives of more and different constituencies in the selection process. Legislation passed in October 1978, essentially enacted this proposal. The real changes in selection have been declines in influence formerly exerted by Senators and the Standing Committee of the American Bar Association. Many commissioners were found to prefer applicants with whom they shared demographic characteristics, suggesting that the sponsors' choices of commissioners can predetermine to some extent the commissioners' choices of candidates. The underrepresentation of women and racial minorities on the Federal bench may be perpetuated by the composition of many commissions. It remains to be determined whether the commissions help to improve judicial performance, whether they substantially change the composition of the bench, and whether they will endure. Study methodology and instruments, relevant legislation, and other pertinent materials are appended, and tabular data are provided. Footnotes and an index are included.
Index Term(s): Discrimination; District Courts; Judge selection
Note: This is the second volume of a two-part study of Federal judicial selection during the Carter Administration.
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