20 Judges J. 1 (1981)

handle is hein.journals/judgej20 and id is 1 raw text is: Court
News
Roundup

DISCRIMINATING TASTE
By Susan L. Feldman
Discrimination. A word of varied and subtle meaning.
According to Roget's International Thesaurus, dis-
crimination is synonymous with tactfulness, sensitiv-
ity, discernment, and with chauvinism, racism, big-
otry as well.
Discrimination and the judiciary has become a con-
troversial issue at the American Bar Association
where committees of at least two sections, the Judicial
Administration Division and Human Rights and Re-
sponsibilities, are studying the question of judicial
membership in clubs that invidiously discriminate.
The people involved in this discussion often apply sev-
eral or even all of the above definitions of discrimina-
tion, depending on the context of their comments. At
some time in the future, perhaps as soon as the annual
meeting next summer, one or both of those commit-
tees might recommend to the House of Delegates that
the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibit judges from be-
ing members of such clubs.
The JAD Committee to Study the Question of
Judicial Membership in     Clubs that Invidiously
Discriminate is looking at several issues before mak-
ing any recommendations:
 The effect that a proposed amendment to the
Code of Judicial Conduct would have on judges
who are required to conduct political cam-
paigns for office and the role played in such
campaigns by organizations that invidiously
discriminate.
 The special subset of problems involved in the
above when the candidate for judicial office is
a female.
 The effect on judicial efficiency of further iso-
lation from society and a further constriction
of a judge's personal life.
* Whether or not such restriction should apply
also to lawyers, as officers of the court, and the
special problems that could be presented if
such restrictions were not applied to lawyer
candidates for a judicial position occupied by
an incumbent subject to such restriction.
* Distinguishing between organizations whose
discrimination is of an inclusive nature and

those whose discrimination is of an exclusive
nature. Among the former would be religious
and ethnic groups.
 The differing impact of such a restriction on
membership in business or professional orga-
nizations (e.g., Rotary International) and
purely social organizations (e.g., country
clubs).
 Whether or not such restrictions should apply
to organizations comprised entirely of blacks
(or other racial groups).
The JAD committee met in January in closed ses-
sion and heard testimony from several witnesses,
among them Lynn Hecht Schafran, Esq., national
director of the Federation of Women Lawyers' Judi-
cial Screening Panel, who represented several other
groups as well. In response to a request by the com.-
mittee, Schafran presented the Ethics Advisory Panel
of the U.S. Judicial Conference's definition of invid-
ious discrimination: exclusion on the basis of race,
religion, sex or national origin with a narrow excep-
tion to the prohibition against exclusion on the basis
of religion for bona fide religious organizations and a
narrow exception to the prohibition against exclusion
on the basis of national origin for bona fide ethnic
heritage organizations. Schafran indicated that all
the organizations she represents (e.g., American Jew-
ish Committee; Mexican American Legal Defense and
Education Fund, Chicana Rights Project; NAACP
Legal Defense and Education Fund; National Asso-
ciation of Women Judges; NOW Legal Defense and
Education Fund; and more) are in accord with that
definition and, in addition, are deeply disturbed that
the JAD may be considering a definition which omits
discrimination based on sex.
She cited Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct,
the principle that raised the issue of judicial member-
ships in discriminatory clubs and organizations: A
judge should respect and comply with the law and
should conduct himself at all times in a manner that
promotes public confidence in the integrity and im-
partiality of the judiciary. Schafran stated that the
groups she represents are calling for a higher standard
for judges-asking not simply that they not do busi-
ness at discriminatory clubs, but that they not main-
(Please turn to page 51)

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