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With an Upper House Divided, Senators Should Use Nominating Commissions to Find Consensus Candidates

No matter what happens on Election Day, it’s highly likely that the body in charge of confirming federal judges – that’s the Senate – will end up 50-50 or 51-49 in one direction or another.

Given this division, what if there were a better way to find nominees whose qualifications people on the left and right agreed upon?

Well, there is: Judicial Nominating Commissions.

JNCs comprise a bipartisan group of individuals tasked with identifying the candidates senators will recommend to the President to fill federal court vacancies. They reflect the idea that judicial systems should be made up of those who exhibit the interests and values of society. While the ultimate decision rests with the executive, we think it’s essential that the people play a role in the initial selection of those who are fit for judicial service, especially at the federal level where such appointments are made for life.

At a time when faith in the judiciary is faltering, we believe that widespread use of JNCs should be considered as a means to increase the legitimacy of these lifetime appointments and ensure that the individuals whom the president nominates are well-qualified, well-respected and deserving of the nomination based on merit and not political connections.

Read more about our plan for Judicial Nominating Commissions here.

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