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not only interested in it, but has a lot of plans and specific information that he could provide, and could have given it to the committee in the last 2 or 3 months, or the last 2 or 3 weeks.
Senator Bible. I think that is a proper question, and I think we should discuss it among ourselves and hold an executive session, Mr. Chairman. I think it obviously interlocks with the overall problem.
It might be a little cold in a tent.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. It is one with respect to which information, you know, is available, could have been, you know, given to the Senate, in the past period of time.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that it is important that we have facilities į available when we confirm judges, and I think that Mr. Kleindienst's
estimate of a month or 2 months is fairly accurate.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, very much.
(The prepared statement of Deputy Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst follows.)
at this point.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD G. KLEINDIENST,
DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am deeply honored to be present here today for the purpose of introducing to the committee the 18 men and women who have been nominated by the President to serve as judges in the District of Columbia's newly reorganized court system.
I am honored to be here because each of us has the privilege of participating in a milestone event in the District's history. It is an event made possible by the unity and cooperation of our three branches of government. It is an event that demonstrates to all our citizens the progress we can achieve when we work together.
Those who contributed to court reorganization can remember the enormity of
the project that once lay before them. They can take pride today in what they have jy accomplished.
The importance of court reform was apparent to President Nixon 21 months ago when he "directed the Attorney General to consult with the bench, the bar
and the various interested groups, to assist in the drafting of appropriate legislation il providing for a reorganization and restructuring of our present court system toward
the eventual goal of creating one local court system for the District of Columbia."
The President knew then that the arrangement whereby all felony jurisdiction in the District resided in the Federal District Court was unacceptable in principle and unworkable in practice.
It was unacceptable in principle because a local judicial system deprived of all meaningful jurisdiction was inconsistent with the struggle for home rule.
It was unworkable in practice because the backlogs and delays which characterized the trial of felony cases in the Federal District Court were undermining criminal justice in the Nation's capital. While the District's serious felonies increased almost 600 percent between 1958 and 1969, the number of felony prosecutions in the Federal District Court remained relatively constant for many years. In fact, the number of felony prosecutions in 1969 was actually less than
Rising aspirations and rising crime made court reorganization an imperative objective for the new Administration.
Now that we have achieved reform in the statutes, we must put into practice. We must make it a reality for the people of this city. All the elements of crisis which inspired the chairman of this Committee to speak a year ago of the “crying need for immediate action” remain with us today. Rapid confirmation by the Senate of the President's 18 judicial candidates is the single most important step we can now take to begin the immense task of restoring the concept of a speedy trial, of swift and certain justice, to the District of Columbia.
The current backlog of almost 3,500 juvenile cases is dramatic evidence of the need for immediate action. The people of this city can have no patience for further delay.
It might be helpful at this point to describe the procedure that was followed in selecting the judicial candidates.
The President determined that the process by which he filled the unusually large number of local judgeships should be thoughtful, thorough, and above criticism. Acting through the Department of Justice, he solicited and received recommendations for nominees from the four local bar associations and from many local attorneys and citizens. A deliberate effort was made to seek out candidates of ability and stature. At the time the selection process began to narrow, more than 160 candidates were under active consideration.
On July 29, the day the crime bill became law, we asked the American Bar Association to assist us in evaluating and ranking a reduced list of judicial candidates. For the first time in history, the ABA was asked to evaluate attorneys for appointment to local judgeships. For the first time, a national administration invited the ABA to apply to candidates for local judgeships the same high standards that it applies to candidates for lifetime judicial appointments.
During the next several weeks, 35 names were submitted to the ABA for thorough investigation. The investigating committee was headed by Charles Horsky, an eminent Washington attorney who serves as the D.C. Circuit's representative to the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. Mr. Horsky was assisted in his work by United States Attorney Thomas A. Flannery, a member of the D.C. Bar Association; Frederick H. Evans, past president of the Washington Bar Association; and former Federal Trade Commission chairman Earl Kintner, a past national president of the Federal Bar Association. These four gifted attorneys are men with impeccable legal credentials.
After careful study, Mr. Horsky's panel of four referred its recommendations to the ABA's full Committee on the Federal Judiciary. The Committee, in turn, made its own evaluation of the candidates, which it submitted to the Department of Justice.
Each of the attorneys presented to the District Committee today has been evaluated by the same ABA standards that apply to lifetime judicial appointments, and each has been found qualified by the American Bar Association to serve in the position for which he has been nominated.
To date, no one has devised a better means of evaluating the quality and competence of prospective judges than by submitting their names to the scrutiny of an impartial, nonpartisan committee of the Bar. The assistance of the ABA in this regard was invaluable to the President, as it has been on federal judicial appointments many times in the past.
This has been a time-consuming process of screening and selection. The need for thorough field investigations by the FBI was also very important. Less time would have elapsed had there been fewer vacancies to fill, fewer candidates to consider, and a less rigorous process of selection. But, all in all, we are satisfied that the time expended in assuring the qualifications of the 18 nominees was well spent in the public interest.
The candidates who emerged from this process represent an excellent crosssection of the community they will serve-attorneys from government and private practice, men and women, blacks and whites, Republicans and Democrats. They range in age from 36 to 66. Should there ge some question about age for persons at either end of this spectrum, it should be remembered that such prominent judges as Potter Stewart, Learned Hand, and Charles Wyzanski were first appointed in their thirties-Wyzanski at 35; and that Holmes, Brandeis, and Cardozo were appointed to the Supreme Court in their sixties.
I hope these remarks will provide the Committee with a helpful picture of how the President made his appointments to the first unified court system in the District's history. I hope they will reflect the tremendous significance that we attach to the successful operation of these courts.
Now, I have the pleasure of introducing the nominees.
For the District of Columbia Court of Appeals:
Hubert B. Pair
James A. Washington, Jr.
Time is of the essence in this matter; for of the 18 nominees, only Judge Hyde is now in a position to work on the challenge facing this city. Every day we delay means the loss of 17 judge days in reducing the current backlog and preparing for the advent of the new court.
We can all agree with your observation, Mr. Chairman, that there is a "crying need for immediate action.” The Department is most grateful for the Committee's cooperation.
The Chairman. Mr. Channing Phillips.
STATEMENT OF REV. CHANNING E. PHILLIPS, DEMOCRATIC NA-
Reverend Phillips. Thank you very much.
Reverend Phillips. Before I start, I would like to introduce Mr. in Marlin.
The Chairman. We are happy to have you here, Mr. Marlin.
Reverend Phillips. I would like to have him address himself to one of the questions raised in the early testimony; namely, the propriety of a Government lawyer moving into a local court as opposed io a Federal court.
On behalf of the District Democratic Central Committee I urge you to reject all 18 nominees submitted by President Nixon for positions on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Superior Court.
A few of the nominees may be qualified for judicial appointment,
but the group as a whole is so plainly lacking certain essential qualifijest cations for these vital positions that we believe that all should be
rejected. The committee should in this manner inform the President
We believe that we speak today for virtually all District organiza-
average citizens have all been appalled by these appointments. If they are confirmed, they will significantly lower both the prestige of the courts and the respect which citizens have for them.
You will recall, Mr. Chairman, that in July 1969 we attempted to puncture the myth that the court reorganization plan submitted by the administration and under consideration by your committee would bring judicial home rule. We foresaw the very problems we are addressing today. We asked then that this committee insist that appointments be made by the Mayor, not the President, and confirmed by the city council, not the Senate.
We asked for the requirement that all judges appointed to sit in the District of Columbia live in the District of Columbia. We asked that there be a judicial nominating commission composed in part of nonlawyer citizens, and that the defense bar be represented on the commission.
None of these recommendations were adopted and we find ourselves now forced to consider 18 nominees who should not have been selected for the following three fundamental reasons:
First of all, 13 of the 18 judicial nominees—which is over 70 percent of them-do not live in the District of Columbia. One is not even a member of the District bar, although I have since been informed that he was walked through and is now a member of the District bar.
Senator BIBLE. I am sorry. I hadn't heard your expression.
Senator SPONG. Senator, he means the gentleman was tiptoed through.
Senator Bible. Thank you. I understand now what you said.
Reverend Phillips. These courts are local courts. They will handle all civil and criminal cases in the District of Columbia. It is therefore critical that the court have judges with broad knowledge of the District and its problems.
Why should a resident of another jurisdiction administer justice to District residents? He will wield broad power over our lives and property, but will not have the personal knowledge or sympathy for our problems that comes only to one who lives here. We will pay salary with our taxes and he will take it to Maryland or Virginia. Washington has more lawyers per population than any city in the country, and scores of them are sufficiently distinguished to qualify for judicial appointment under the most stringent standards.
These appointments are symbols of the District's position as a colony. A President, rejected overwhelmingly by the voters of the District, appoints judges who live in other jurisdictions to rule us. A Congress elected by voters who live everywhere else but the District will decide whether to confirm them. And we in the District will continue to be ruled by outsiders, much as viceroys ruled colonial India.
Second, we believe that judges should have a background in community affairs within the District of Columbia. The law is not an abstract science. It deals with human beings and human problems. Fair and intelligent decisions require knowledge and understanding of the customs, values, and aspirations of the people involved. It is therefore essential in a city which is 70 percent black that judges have a deep understanding of the black community.
It appears that most of the nominees before this committee have had little or no involvement in community affairs or have shown any particular sensitivity to the needs of black people. As I have already noted, 13 live outside the District. Ten work for the District or
Federal Government. Five of the others are in downtown law practice. Only six of 18 are black. While an attorney who works for the Government or for a downtown law firm can have involved himself in community life, most of these nominees do not seem to have chosen to do so.
I cannot be sure of the involvement of the nominees in District affairs since none of the résumés indicates what organizations they belong to or what community activities they have participated in. Apparently either they or the Department of Justice do not regard such items, which are normal for résumés, as important.
In any event, neither I nor other community leaders that I consulted had even heard of most of the prospective judges before their nomination. I can only conclude that most have spent their lives within the Department of Justice, big law firms, or otherwise isolated from the life of this city.
Finally, the three nominees to the court of appeals are too old to eren serve the 15-year term of office for which they have been nominated. What better example can there be of the crude politics and cronyism that characterize all the selections made by the administration than that fact?
When President Nixon submitted the District of Columbia crime bill to the Congress, he described the court reorganization sections as constituting court reform. The District of Columbia Democratic Party, like virtually every other major community organization in this city, opposed important provisions of the District of Columbia crime bill because we believed that they were repressive and would not, in fact, reduce crime. However, we ultimately supported the court reorganization provisions of the bill because we believed that court reform was vital to reducing the serious crime problem in this city.
We think the administration has broken its word to the people of this city and to the Congress. If these nominees are confirmed, a distinguished U.S. court of appeals-an appellate court which is perhaps the best in the Nation-and a largely undistinguished but adequate U.S. district court will be replaced by a District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Superior Court which can, at best, be described as mediocre.
The appointment of underqualified men to judicial positions does not, in my judgment, constitute court reform. The appointment of underqualified judges does not constitute an effective attack on crime.
This committee has special responsibility to reject these nominees. The committee, over the objections of myself and many other District citizens, reported and supported the District of Columbia crime bill. In doing so, you promised us that the bill would result in court reform.
We ask you to insure that court reform becomes a reality, not more rhetoric. We ask that you insist that the President appoint judges of the highest caliber. We therefore urge you to make clear that you will not confirm as judges nominees who do not live in the District of Columbia, who have not demonstrated they understand its residents or problems, and who cannot serve their full terms on the bench.
If I may ask, Mr. Chairman, I will ask Mr. Marlin to speak to the question raised earlier, just briefly.