From the 2008 News Archive
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See Prof. Ifill's C-SPAN Panel on Candidates, Judicial Nominees

Professor Sherrilyn Ifill, nationally recognized as an advocate in the areas of civil rights, voting rights, judicial diversity and judicial decision-making, participated in a recent panel discussion, "What the President Should Look for in a Judicial Nominee" panel at the American Bar Association's 2008 annual meeting in August.

The panel, sponsored by the ABA's Judicial Division, was moderated by New York Times U.S. Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse, and also featured former U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, now dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, and Princeton University law and public affairs scholar Christopher L. Eisgruber.

Professor Ifill said confirmation hearings are a significant reason behind the loss of public trust in the judiciary, according to an ABA Journal article about the panel. She suggested that the presidential candidates use the nomination process to restore that trust by having judges talk about the intended role of the judiciary and how their choices will enhance the public's confidence in the legitimacy of our courts and not just advance their own ideologies.

Presidents also should be looking at what skill set is missing and what is needed to create a balanced court, Professor Ifill proposed. "Likewise, we should be asking: What exactly does a Supreme Court justice do? What does the job look like?"

View the C-SPAN broadcast.

Professor Ifill writes about the importance of judicial diversity and impartiality in judicial decision-making. Her articles about race, judging and judicial selection have led to Professor Ifill's recognition as an expert on these subjects. She has appeared on NBC Nightly News as well as local network news broadcasts as a consultant and expert during recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Professor Ifill also writes about the history of racial violence and contemporary reconciliation efforts. Her book about truth and reconciliation commissions for lynching On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century was released by Beacon Books in February 2007.


Posted by James Smith on Sept. 5, 2008

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