Military Personnel Rights, Federal Judicial Nominations and Other Critical Legal Issues Top Agenda for ABA House of Delegates at Annual Meeting in New York

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Association’s policy-making body to debate critical legal issues

Ensuring that military personnel get access to the courts when they are victims of injurious government conduct; expediting and otherwise improving the process of federal judicial nominations; and enhancing efforts to ban racial profiling are among the critical legal issues to be considered by the American Bar Association’s policy-making House of Delegates when it meets to debate and vote on more than two dozen proposals on Aug. 11 and 12 at the Hilton New York Grand Ballroom during the association’s 2008 Annual Meeting.

Among the proposals scheduled for consideration are ones that:

  • Urge Congress to overrule the Feres Doctrine, which denies military members access to the courts when they are victims of wrongful government conduct. (Recommendation 10B)
  • Recommend new procedures for federal judicial nominations to reduce partisan combat and expedite the process. (Recommendation 118)
  • Advance efforts to ban law enforcement’s use of racial and ethnic profiling. (Recommendation 104C)
  • Affirm ABA opposition to legislation and policies that interfere with a medical provider’s effort to protect a patient’s health, such as the legislative attempts made to direct care in the Terri Schiavo case. (Recommendation 117B)
  • Advocate that trial judges sensitize jurors to the possibility of error when defendants are identified by eyewitnesses of a different race. (Recommendation 104D)
  • Urge the U.S. government to expand its involvement with the International Criminal Court to enhance the international rule of law. (Recommendation 108A)
  • Encourage medical personnel to report non-injury hospital events to evaluate whether hospital procedures should be modified to improve patient safety. (Recommendation 115)
  • Press the U.S. government to allow clinicians to provide medications to the partners of patients whom they are treating for sexually transmitted diseases without prior examination of the partners. (Recommendation 116A)

Reports with recommendations can be accessed here. Click on the recommendation number to read the full text and supporting report.

The 555-member House of Delegates will convene Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Aug. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or the conclusion of business. The deliberative session includes members from state and local bar associations around the country, ABA affiliates and ABA entities, and is the finale of the ABA Annual Meeting. The ABA is the largest voluntary professional association in the world and a vigorous policy advocate before the federal government.

During the Annual Meeting, a press room for accredited journalists will be set up at the Hilton New York, Murray Hill Suite, 2nd floor, and will open for on-site media registration at 8 a.m. on Aug. 7. Thereafter the press room will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Aug. 12. Beginning Aug. 7 – Aug. 12, reach the press room at 212-261-6059.

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. To register, go abanet.org/media. Credential guidelines are at abanews.org/credentials.html.

With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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Contact: Jason Fujioka    
Phone: 312/988-6128
E-Mail: fujiokaj @ staff.abanet.org
Online:    abanews.org

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