Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Conference Abandons Misguided Draft Opinion on Judicial Membership

Some good news: As I was (I think) first to report yesterday afternoon, the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States has abandoned its poorly reasoned draft advisory opinion (which I made public in January) that would have barred federal judges from being members of the Federalist Society while allowing them to be members of the American Bar Association.

Here’s the memo that sent the news to all federal judges yesterday. The Committee “has decided to rely on the advice it has previously given to judges as to how judges should analyze membership in [law-related] organizations.” It concludes that the “balancing [of relevant] considerations is ultimately best left to the judgment of individual judges.”


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