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 Home > News & Policies > March 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 22, 2001

Letter to Senators Leahy and Schumer from Al Gonzales
March 22, 2001

Dear Senators Leahy and Schumer:

On behalf of the President, I write in response to your letter of March 16, 2001, regarding the role of the American Bar Association in the President's judicial selection process. Although the President welcomes the ABA's suggestions concerning judicial nominees, the Administration will not notify the ABA of the identity of a nominee before the nomination is submitted to the Senate and announced to the public. A copy of my letter to the President of the ABA informing her of this decision is enclosed.

We are confident that this procedure, in which the President will welcome and receive input from a variety of interested and diverse parties, will enable the President to nominate candidates of the highest intellect, integrity, and professional qualification. Of course, we appreciate that individual members of the Senate Judiciary Committee may choose to seek the ABA's views on judicial nominees. Based on the ABA's representation to me that it can complete an evaluation in 20 to 30 days, I am confident that any post-nomination ABA evaluation would not delay the Committee's timely consideration of the President's nominees.

Thank you very much for your letter. The Administration looks forward to working closely with you in the months ahead as the President and the Senate work together to fill the numerous vacancies on the federal bench.

Sincerely yours,

Alberto R. Gonzales
Counsel to the President

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
The Honorable Charles Schumer
United States Senate Washington, DC 20510