July 2015: Federal Bar Association Leaders Focus Congress' Attention on Judicial Issues at Capitol Hill Day

Washington Watch | July 2015
By Bruce Moyer

Thirty-four national, circuit and chapter leaders of the Federal Bar Association met with Senate and House lawmakers and staff on April 30 to educate Congress on the challenges and needs of the federal courts. This year’s event involved FBA leaders from 28 chapters, located in 19 states, visiting approximately 150 Congressional offices.

The Government Relations Committee of the Association coordinated the event. “We’re delighted that so many committed FBA leaders from across the country took time from their busy schedules to come to Washington to focus Congress’ attention on the role of the Third Branch,” GRC chair West Allen said. “This is one more way that FBA is helping to make a difference.”

FBA President Matt Moreland, who participated in the event, said “The FBA, as the representative of the practicing bar and the foremost constituency of our federal courts, has a responsibility to remind Congress of the important role our courts play, the challenges they face and their ongoing needs.”

Meetings with Capitol Hill offices on Capitol Hill Day focused on four policy priorities:
  • Adequate funding for our federal courts
  • Prompt Senate consideration of all judicial nominees
  • Reforms to curb abusive litigation practices
  • Establishment of an Article I immigration court
These priorities are explained in an FBA Issue Brief that FBA advocates used in connection with their visits.

FBA advocates received training from FBA Government Relations Counsel on the four issues before stepping foot on the Hill. “Through our preparation, we became forceful advocates for the federal courts,” Allen said. The FBA Issue Brief and other materials about Capitol Hill Day are available on the FBA website.

FBA representatives received a warm reception and a positive response from many of the Congressional offices they visited, providing the opportunity for ongoing and stronger relationships between FBA and the Hill.

Make plans to participate in Capitol Hill Day next year. The event is scheduled for May 19, 2016.

Bruce Moyer is government relations counsel for the FBA. © 2015 Bruce Moyer. All rights reserved.

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