Evaluation Process and Ratings of Supreme Court Nominees by the American Bar Association [March 22, 2022]   [open pdf - 734KB]

From the Document: "This Insight provides information related to the evaluation and rating of a Supreme Court nominee by the American Bar Association [hyperlink] (ABA). Once a President nominates [hyperlink], or announces an intention to nominate, an individual to a vacancy on the Court, the nominee is evaluated by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary [hyperlink]. The committee states [hyperlink] that each evaluation 'focuses solely on a nominee's professional qualifications' and 'does not take into consideration a nominee's philosophy, political affiliation or ideology.' A nominee's professional qualifications include his or her integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. According to the committee [hyperlink], it 'conducts the most extensive nationwide peer review possible [of the nominee] on the premise that the highest court in the land requires a lawyer or judge with exceptional professional qualifications.' Consequently, the evaluation process typically involves [hyperlink] conducting hundreds of interviews with those 'persons most likely to have information regarding the professional qualifications of the nominee.' It also involves [hyperlink] an examination of the nominee's legal writings by law school professors (often recognized experts in areas of law related to the nominee's writings) and practicing lawyers with experience arguing before the Court. In reporting the result of its evaluation, the ABA committee rates a nominee as 'Well Qualified,' 'Qualified,' or 'Not Qualified.'"

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN11896
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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