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The ABA, Judicial Selection, and an Academic Blind Spot

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Professor Michael Yelnosky of Roger Williams U. Law has this article in the WaPo on the ABA's judicial selection committee.  His thesis is that the committee is biased in favor of business interests, but in the process of making his case he reveals a typical academic blind spot.

Five of the six new members work for some of the country's largest law firms and regularly represent some of this country's biggest corporations. The sixth represents businesses defending against claims for which they have liability insurance -- "insurance defense" cases. On the committee, they will join four other lawyers who work at large corporate firms, four who represent businesses in smaller law firms and one who specializes in defending lawyers sued for malpractice.

Not one of the lawyers on the committee for 2013-14 regularly represents individuals who bring lawsuits alleging they were harmed by the actions of corporations or other business entities, and not one represents individuals charged with anything other than white-collar crimes.

Okay, so there are criminal defense lawyers on the committee, and Yelnosky is all upset that they are all white-collar defense lawyers as opposed to lawyers who defend murderers, etc. (red-collar?).

Why is the good professor not upset that all of the criminal law practitioners are defense lawyers and not prosecutors?
Apparently he just has a complete blind spot when it comes to bias against the prosecution in criminal law.  That is, unfortunately, an attitude all too common in academia.

I recently completed a study that shows that lawyers who represent business interests have been overrepresented on this ABA standing committee for many years. That overrepresentation is inconsistent with the special role the ABA has in federal judicial selection. Unless the committee becomes more representative of the profession, the ABA should not retain this privileged status.
Here is some common ground.  I completely agree with that last sentence.  Now, there is zero chance that the ABA will become representative of the profession in criminal law.  Prosecutors and victims' advocates tried for years, gave up, and voted with our feet many years ago.  Therefore, the ABA should be permanently stripped of any special role in judicial selection.  It is just one more interest group among many.

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