Does A Bull Have Horns?
March 18, 2009
Is the American Bar Association biased against conservative judicial nominees? Yes! – according to a new study by three political scientists who “specialize in studying the intersection the courts and politics.” Richard Vining of the University of Georgia, Amy Steigerwalt of Georgia State University and Emory University Ph.D. candidate Susan Smelcer examined every nominee to the federal courts of appeal between 1985 and 2008. This analysis of 23 years of judicial nominees revealed:
- Nominees appointed by Democratic presidents are more likely to receive higher ABA ratings than nominees of Republican presidents;
- The more conservative the nominee, the less likely he/she will receive a high ABA rating.
The Bush Administration stopped submitting names of judicial candidates to the ABA prior to their nominations because of this ABA bias, but the Obama Administration will likely revive this practice. Read more about the study in the National Law Journal.