Federal Judges: The Appointing Process
by Harold W. Chase
University of Minnesota Press, 1972
Paper: 978-0-8166-5724-7


Federal Judges was first published in 1972. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Despite the importance of federal judges in the system of American government, relatively little scholarly attention has been directed toward the process of appointing these judges -- how it operates and what types of individuals become judges. Professor Chase analyzes and evaluates the appointing system and makes some provocative proposals for changes which he believes would improve and strengthen the federal judicial system.

The study is concerned with the appointing process as it applies to federal judges below the level of the Supreme Court who receive lifetime appointments. These are the judges who serve in what are known as Article III courts, the courts constituted by Congress in accordance with Article III of the Constitution. They include courts of appeals, district courts, the court of claims, the court of customs and patent appeals, and the customs court.

For this study the author had access to Department of Justice records, and he observed for several months the negotiations and discussions in the department involving the selection of judges by President Kennedy's administration. He conducted extensive interviews with officials in the Kennedy administration as well as with officials in the Eisenhower and Johnson administrations who played leading roles in the appointment of judges. In addition, he interviewed many judges, lawyers, newsmen, and political leaders, as well as a sampling of U.S. senators and most of the recent chairmen of the American Bar Association's Committee on Federal Judiciary.

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