University of Denver

An Uncommon Dialogue: What Do We Want in Our Judges & How Do We Get There?

In March 2013, IAALS sponsored “An Uncommon Dialogue” about judicial selection. IAALS convened a group of thirty legal experts for two days to share perspectives on essential attributes for judges and how to put judges with those attributes on the bench. The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies and The Aspen Institute Justice & Society Program facilitated the participation of a number of those experts. The dialogue took place at Colorado Springs’ Penrose House, an education and conference center available exclusively for the nonprofit community to gather, discuss issues, and seek innovative solutions to challenges. El Pomar Foundation uses this neutral meeting place to promote cooperation across organizational and/or philosophical boundaries.

Consistent with El Pomar Foundation’s mission and the purpose of the gathering, the group was ideologically and experientially diverse, including judges from both the state and federal systems, academics who study judicial selection, practicing lawyers (including a former governor) who have had or who currently have roles in selecting judges at the state or federal level, and representatives of various organizations with an interest in these issues.