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  1. #1 Bar Association Bias Against Conservatives Confirmed. 
    Study concludes a well-worn gripe may be right: ABA ratings are biased against conservative nominees
    Marcia Coyle / Staff reporter

    March 18, 2009


    WASHINGTON — Controversy over the American Bar Association's ratings of potential judicial nominees is likely to continue with the announcement that the bar group will resume its role of evaluating candidates before their nominations. In fact, a soon-to-be-released study by political scientists concludes what conservative groups have long charged: The ratings are biased against potential conservative nominees.

    Political scientists Richard Vining of the University of Georgia, Amy Steigerwalt of Georgia State University and Susan Smelcer, an Emory University doctoral candidate, will present their findings next month at the Midwest Political Science Association's 67th Annual National Conference.

    The three academics, all of whom specialize in studying the intersection of the courts and politics, examined every nominee to the federal courts of appeals from 1985 to 2008, regardless of whether the nominee was confirmed or had a confirmation hearing.

    "There's been a lot of discussion about whether the ABA ratings might be biased against potential conservative nominees," said Steigerwalt. The arguments "gained steam," she said, when Robert Bork received a split well-qualified/not qualified rating for the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The not qualified part of the rating was due to questions about judicial temperament, she recalled, and many conservatives felt that temperament became a code word for "not liberal."

    (snip)

    "What we found are some things that sort of mirror what other studies have said as well as new findings, but we have conclusions that people can rely on," she said.

    The findings:

    • Nominees appointed by Democratic presidents are more likely to receive higher ABA ratings than nominees appointed by Republican presidents.

    • The more conservative the nominee, the less likely he or she will receive a high ABA rating.

    • White nominees are more likely to get higher ratings than minority nominees.

    • Nominees with judicial experience receive higher ratings than those without judicial experience.

    • Nominees who were previously congressional staff members were more likely to receive lower ratings, but those who served as executive branch attorneys were more likely to receive higher ratings.

    Steigerwalt said they hope to extend their study to district court nominees in the future.
    Interesting.

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  2. #2  
    Patent Member
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    Uhh...who ever said the ABA was not biased?

    The only reason to be a member of the ABA is because they occasionally have some interesting publications and other attorneys expect you to be a member. Also I get good deals on CLE.

    Of course, the Federalist Society is much better. Also I get a book from them every year (maybe it's twice a year).
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member tacitus's Avatar
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    Biased and racists.

    [QUOTE][ White nominees are more likely to get higher ratings than minority nominees. /QUOTE]
    "If every poor man is to come here and start requesting money for all his children, the applicants will never be satisfied and the nation's finances will collapse." Emperor Tiberius: Tacitus:Annals




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  4. #4  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    We could always kill all the lawyers . . . . I know - it's a pipe dream that the world has been playing with for thousands of years . . . . but we could . . . . imagine a world with no lawyers!
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    We could always kill all the lawyers . . . . I know - it's a pipe dream that the world has been playing with for thousands of years . . . . but we could . . . . imagine a world with no lawyers!
    I would settle for closing all the law schools for the next 20 years. I had to pay a speeding ticket at the court house last year and them suckers were thick as thieves. Plus, I did not mention the BO in the elevator. :)
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