CBA President-elect Monte E. Frank, accompanied by several other CBA leaders, joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at the State Capitol for a press conference regarding President Obama’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill the United States Supreme Court vacancy.
Attorney Frank opened his remarks reflecting on one of the founding purposes of the CBA. “Since its establishment in 1875, the Connecticut Bar Association has been dedicated to advancing principles of law and justice. Throughout our long history, we have worked tirelessly to defend and further the Rule of Law. This is one of those instances.”
He went on to say, “As the representative of the legal profession in Connecticut, it is important for us to reiterate our longstanding guiding principle and commitment to the Rule of Law and urge the Senate to adhere to the Constitution without regard to political preference.”
“Now that the president has fulfilled his constitutional responsibility and made a nomination promptly to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy, the Constitution requires the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to consider and act promptly on the nominee,” he said.
Attorney Frank referred to his time in Chicago for the American Bar Association’s annual Bar Leadership Institute this week where other leaders of the CBA and bar associations nationwide gathered. “We spoke with American Bar Association president, Paulette Brown, who also is urging the Senate to honor the rule of law and proceed with all deliberate speed to consider the nominee to the Supreme Court.”
ABA President Paulette Brown had this to say about the Supreme Court nomination process – “To be fully effective and to ensure the highest level of access to justice, the Supreme Court needs a full complement of justices. While the court will continue to function, any 4-4 decisions will not establish precedent and will leave open questions on issues that are vital to the lives of everyday people” in Connecticut and across our nation.
In closing, Attorney Frank urged the Senate to fill the void by moving forward with meetings and hearings, consideration, and a vote on the nominee.
Monte E. Frank is a principal at Cohen and Wolf PC. He is also President of the New England Bar Association and is one of Connecticut’s delegates to the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.
From left to right: CBA Federal Practice
Section Co-chair, James Ross Smart;
CBA-YLS Past Chair, Emily Graner
Sexton; CBA Federal Practice Section
Co-chair, Patrick A. Klingman; CBA
President-elect, Monte E. Frank, CBA
House of Delegates member, Cherie G.
Phoenix; Yale Law School Professor,
Akhil Amar; U.S. Senator Richard
Blumenthal, George W. Crawford
Bar Association President-elect, Anthony
Shannon; American Bar Association Connecticut State Delegate,
Daniel A. Schwartz; and CBA Past President, Kimberly A. Knox.
I just saw this item on the CBA website. Mr. Frank cannot and should not speak on behalf of the CBA in a party-partisan way on an issue that does not affect the lawyers in Connecticut. He should absolutely retract his misrepresentation and confirm that to the membership. It should go without saying that an officer is not authorized to use the CBA name in such a misleading fashion, but perhaps the house of delegates needs to make it clear.
As a member of CBA, I agree with the previous comments. It is not appropriate for the President-elect of our professional organization to take a political stand supporting one party in this current controversy. This is not about the rule of law. It is about parisan politics. If this is his view, then he needs to make it clear that he does not represent the CBA membership in any way.
I agree with Jim’s comment and likewise suggest that Mr. Frank correct his misstatement and clarify that he is speaking only on his own behalf. The Constitution says nothing about the manner in which the Senate should or must exercise its advise and consent authority.
Mr. Frank, on behalf of the CBA: “As the representative of the legal profession in Connecticut, it is important for us to reiterate our longstanding guiding principle and commitment to the Rule of Law and urge the Senate to adhere to the Constitution without regard to political preference. Now that the president has fulfilled his constitutional responsibility and made a nomination promptly to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy, the Constitution requires the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to consider and act promptly on the nominee.
First, Mr. Frank should not speak on behalf of the CBA. Second, his statement (on behalf of the CBA) is flat out wrong on the law. Neither the Constitution nor any "Rule of Law" requires the Senate to “consider/act promptly” or even vote on a nominee. That decision rests entirely with the Senate. Mr. Frank should promptly & publicly correct his misstatement of law and clarify that he speaks only for himself and not for the CBA.