Miller Center

The National Commission on the Selection of Federal Judges (1996)

The current judicial selection process, which requires nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate, has led to increasing delays in filling open judicial seats as the size of the federal judiciary continues to grow. The Commission brought together a number of scholars to review the selection process of federal judges and outline means for streamlining the confirmation process so that vacant judicial seats would be filled more expeditiously.

Co-Chairs:

  • Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, U.S. Attorney General, 1965–1966; Chairman, MCI, Inc.
  • Harold R. Tyler, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, 1956–1960; Deputy Attorney General, 1975–1977; Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler

Commissioners:

  • Howard H. Baker, Jr., White House Chief of Staff, 1987–1988; U.S. Senator (R-Tenn.), 1967–1985; Majority Leader, U.S. Senate, 1981–1985; U.S. Ambassador to Japan; Senior Advisor, Citigroup
  • Birch E. Bayh, Jr., U.S. Senator (D-Ind.), 1963–1981; Partner, Venable
  • Lovida H. Coleman, Jr., Special Assistant to the Attorney General, 1977–1980; Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP
  • Lloyd N. Cutler, White House Counsel, 1977–1981, 1994; Partner, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering
  • Fred F. Fielding, White House Counsel, 1981–1986, 2006-present; Commissioner, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States; Partner, Wiley, Rein & Fielding
  • Leon A. Higginbotham, Jr., Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1977–1993; Of Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
  • Frederick B. Lacey, United States District Judge, 1971–1986; Special Counsel, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae
  • Daniel J. Meador, Assistant Attorney General, 1977–1979; James Monroe Professor of Law, Emeritus, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Kimba M. Wood, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1987–present; Chief Judge, Southern District, 2006

Commission Director: Kenneth W. Thompson, Director of the Miller Center, 1978–1998

Read the Commission's Final Report

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