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The Law School

3400 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204


Honorable Jack Brooks, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives

2137 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-6216

June 5, 1989

Dear Mr. Chairman,

Thank you for your letter of May 22 addressed to Marcia Bystryn, Acting Director of the Twentieth Century Fund, inviting the Fund to testify before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Administration of Justice on June



Your letter was referred to me as chair of the Fund's Task Force on Judicial Responsibility. Our Task Force is completing a report relevant to the subject of the hearing and we would very much like to share some of our recommendations with the subcommittee. From our point of view, however, it would be far preferable to appear after the summer, by which time we expect our report to have been completed, and we understand that further hearings are anticipated at that time.

If this is not congenial, I will certainly be pleased to appear on June 13 together with Judge Abner Mikva, a former member of your Committee, and to share with you our current thinking.

Warm personal regards.

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Report of the

Twentieth Century Fund

Task Force on

Federal Judicial Responsibility

Background Paper
by Thomas E. Baker

Priority Press Publications/New York/1989

The Twentieth Century Fund is a research foundation undertaking
timely analyses of economic, political, and social issues. Not-for-profit
and nonpartisan, the Fund was founded in 1919 and endowed by
Edward A. Filene.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Twentieth Century Fund. Task Force on Federal Judicial

The good judge: report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force
on Federal Judicial Responsibility.

p. cm.

"Background paper by Thomas E. Baker"

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 0-87078-274-6 $18.95 - ISBN 0-87078-273-8 (pbk.): $8.95
1. Judicial ethics-United States. 2. Judges-United States.
I. Baker, Thomas E., 1953- II. Title.





Copyright 1989 by the Twentieth Century Fund, Inc.
Manufactured in the United States of America.



In the mid-1980s, the Twentieth Century Fund decided to examine some of the public issues involving the federal judiciary. The goal was to look at areas, such as judicial selection, that were already the subject of public debate as well as emerging issues, such as the use of expert witnesses. One topic that seemed particularly timely was the question of "good behavior," the responsibility of judges to adhere to rules of conduct that are only partially spelled


At the time, the main issue seemed to be judicial impeachment: the Senate had recently impeached and removed from office District Judge Harry Claiborne of Nevada, and Congress was slated to consider impeachment proceedings against two other federal judges. Gradually, the focus of our interest shifted. We considered the broader question of how to maintain the institutional independence of the federal judiciary while strengthening the mechanisms for dealing with judges who do not live up to the high standards of that group.

The questions we wanted to explore were timely and complex. They were, in fact, an appropriate subject for a Task Force. The Fund already had a Task Force on Judicial Selection under way (its Report, Judicial Roulette, was published last year). The following Report is an ideal companion piece.

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To author the background paper that set the agenda for the Task Force, the Fund was fortunate to find Thomas E. Baker, professor of law at Texas Tech University School of Law, a former federal judicial fellow to the Supreme Court and the writer of numerous articles on a wide range of legal subjects. His paper sets the constitutional and legal issues involved in the controversy over judicial impeachment in historical perspective and examines policies that would help safeguard judicial independence while ensuring judicial responsibility.

We are grateful to him and to the members of the Task Force. Led by their chairman, A. Leo Levin, they examined the issues and interviewed a number of guest witnesses before engaging in the discussions-and debatethat led to the recommendations embedded in this Report.

Richard C. Leone, DIRECTOR
The Twentieth Century Fund
October 1989

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