Bush ends oversight of nominations
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MARCH 23, 2001

In a move seen as clearing the way for the nomination of conservative judges to the federal bench, the Bush administration on Thursday cut oversight of the process by the American Bar Association.

The ABA has traditionally provided the administration with secret ratings about potential judges. The ABA does this before nominations are sent to the Senate.

But The White House said no single group should receive such consideration before anyone else does. Democrats, the ABA, and liberal organizations criticized the decision.

Senate Republicans have pushed for a number of conservative judges, including their former colleague Slade Gorton. Only John McCain (R-Ariz.) opposed the recommendation because he said he doesn't agree with Gorton's views on tribal sovereignty.

Letter about ABA role:
To Senators Leahy And Schumer From Al Gonzales (The White House 3/23)

Get the Story:
Bush Curtails ABA Role In Selecting U.S. Judges (The Washington Post 3/23)

Relevant Links:
The American Bar Association -

Related Stories:
Bush may change judicial nomination process (3/20)
Campbell's support of Gorton raises questions (2/16)
McCain opposes Gorton judgeship (2/15)