Brennan Center Endorses ABA Judicial Disqualification Resolution

August 8, 2011

Contact: Erik Opsal,, 646-292-8356; Jeanine Plant-Chirlin,, 646-292-8322

New York, NY – The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates is expected to vote today on a resolution calling on states to adopt new rules for judicial disqualification. Brennan Center Senior Counsel Adam Skaggs released the following statement in support of the resolution:

“We commend the ABA for its attention to this important issue, and urge the House of Delegates to approve the judicial disqualification resolution. The Brennan Center has long advocated for reforming recusal practice in the states, and we are pleased the pending resolution calls for rules consistent with our two primary recommendations: providing for prompt, meaningful review when a challenged judge denies a recusal request, and requiring recusal when campaign spending raises reasonable questions about a judge’s impartiality.

“By adopting the resolution, the ABA will send a strong signal to state courts that judicial disqualification procedures are crucial to shoring up public confidence in the judiciary. We hope, and expect, that state courts will respond to this call for reform.”

The Brennan Center today released a revised edition of our study, “Promoting Fair and Impartial Courts through Recusal Reform,” which will assist state courts as they respond to the ABA’s resolution and develop new standards and procedures for judicial disqualification.

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Erik Opsal at or 646-292-8356, or Jeanine Plant-Chirlin at or 646-292-8322.