In preparation to stack all levels of the courts with right-wing justices, President Bush officially withdrew 62 executive and judicial nominations made by former President Clinton during his last days in office. Of the 62 nominations pulled by Bush, 10 were for federal judgeships and several were women and minority nominees, whose candidacy had been stalled throughout the Clinton administration by the Republican controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.
As Bush prepares to fill nearly 100 open judgeships, his top legal advisors have begun questioning the American Bar Association’s (ABA) “preferential role” in evaluating potential federal judges. Under pressure from conservatives who feel the ABA’s “liberal slant” makes the organization incapable of being impartial, the Bush Administration has indicated the ABA may no longer be asked to evaluate candidates before they are sent to the Senate for confirmation. Since 1953, presidents have asked the ABA for a confidential rating of judicial candidates before candidates’ names are released to the public.