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RE: The Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Statement of H. Thomas Wells Jr., President, _

The _ Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has begun its peer-review of nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

We believe the review of Judge Sotomayor’s credentials for this important position in our Third Branch will add the important perspective of lawyers and judges with whom Judge Sotomayor has worked.  The ABA Standing Committee’s review process includes the following elements:

All members of the ABA Standing Committee participate in the evaluation.  Hundreds of lawyers, judges and members of the community who know  Judge Sotomayor professionally will be interviewed by members of the  ABA Standing Committee.  Those interviewed will be asked to assess  Judge Sotomayor on three key criteria: integrity, professional competence  and judicial temperament.

Two panels of legal scholars from respected law schools  will   examine the nominee’s legal writings for quality, clarity, knowledge of the  law and analytical ability.  The reading teams are composed of professors  who are recognized experts in various substantive areas of the law.

Another panel of pre-eminent lawyers with Supreme Court and  appellate experience also will examine the nominee’s legal writings from  the perspective of practitioners who are familiar with appellate practice at  the highest level

Finally, Judge Sotomayor herself will be interviewed at length by members  of the Standing Committee regarding her professional qualifications.

After this comprehensive evaluation is completed, the findings will be assembled into a report  for  review by each member of the committee  who will then  individually evaluate the nominee as either “well-qualified,” “qualified,” or  “not-qualified.”  The majority rating constitutes the official rating of the ABA Standing Committee.

The Standing Committee’s independent peer review will provide the Senate with a thoughtful, thorough evaluation of Judge Sotomayor’s professional credentials for serving on the nation’s highest court as the Senate fulfills its constitutional role in the confirmation process.

For additional information please visit http://www.abanet.org/scfedjud.

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Federal Judicial Selection Issues Resource Page: http://www.abanet.org/media/fedjud.html