Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Judicial body says courts have discretion on new ‘judge-shopping’ policy after GOP backlash

By 37ci3 Mar16,2024

WASHINGTON – The Judicial Conference of the United States On Friday, the federal judiciary issued guidance that further complicates the new policy “judge shop” After public criticism from top Republicans in Congress.

The term refers to a strategy used by some conservative lawyers to present their case to a judge with a similar ideology.

A spokeswoman for the administrative office of the US Courts said in a statement Friday that the conference’s new policies, approved Tuesday, “should not be viewed as impinging on the court’s authority or discretion.”

“Rather, they set out various ways to bring the courts’ case assignment practices into line with the long-standing Judicial Conference policy of random case assignment,” he said.

On Tuesday, the conference approved a policy for randomly assigning cases that could sidestep state or federal policies to a wider pool of district court judges. The move is intended to crack down on attorneys who engage in “judge shopping,” or submit their cases to a smaller division of a district that might provide oversight by a sympathetic judge.

The practice was highlighted by a high-profile case over the federal approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. Anti-abortion advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the federal approval in a Texas court, where they were assured that Judge Matthew Kaczmarik would hear the case, which ultimately ruled in their favor. The case is currently in the Supreme Court.

The Judicial Conference said Tuesday that judges will receive guidance on how to implement the policy.

Democrats in Congress, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have long criticized “judge shopping.”

In a statement after the new policy was announced, Schumer said the practice “allows MAGA rights claimants to circumvent and bypass our federal court system by targeting courts that will ensure an elected MAGA-right judge who will rule in their favor.”, he said after the new policy was announced. he said in a statement later this week.

Following the policy shift, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday. He called the move a “forced error by the Judicial Conference” and said he hoped the Judicial Conference would “reconsider.”

His criticism was echoed by other Senate Republicans.

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By 37ci3

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