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On behalf of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, Jenner & Block Partner Richard J. Gray provided introductory remarks at the Investiture Ceremony for Joseph Van Bokkelen, who was sworn in as a Federal District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana on October 5 at the Hammond Federal Court House in Hammond, Indiana. Mr. Gray serves as the Seventh Circuit representative on the Committee.
“The best part of my job as a Committee member is the opportunity to meet men and women who, by virtue of their achievements in life, at the bar, and on the bench have been found deserving of a nomination to the federal court,” Mr. Gray said at the ceremony.
“I am very pleased to report, as a result of its review, the Committee finds Joseph Van Bokkelen well qualified for membership on this court,” Mr. Gray added in his remarks. “The Committee did not confer this well qualified rating. Joe Van Bokkelen earned it.”
The ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary consists of 15 members – two members from the Ninth Circuit, one member from each of the other 12 federal judicial circuits and the chair.
The Committee has been evaluating the professional qualifications of all persons nominated for appointments to the federal bench, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the U.S. District Courts and the four territorial courts, for more than 50 years. The Standing Committee’s evaluation of nominees is unique and the only nonpartisan, non-ideological peer review of the professional qualifications of prospective federal judges. The Committee evaluates only a nominee’s integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament. Neither ideology nor politics is considered. Once an evaluation is completed, the Committee sends its report to both the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the administration.