April 28, 2009
NYSBA: State Should Adopt Appointment Process Like U.S. Tax Court
The New York State Bar Association Tax Section has released a report on The Process for Making Appointments to the New York Tax Appeals Tribunal (No. 1181):
We believe that the process usually used in the nomination of judges to the U.S. Tax Court can serve as a model for a process that would assist you, as well as your successors, in ensuring that individuals with the characteristics mentioned above are appointed to the Tribunal. The process for selecting U.S. Tax Court judges starts with the administration (i.e., those appointed by the President) developing a list of possible nominees. That list (along with resumes) is furnished to the Appointments to the Tax Court Committee of the ABA's Tax Section. That committee reviews the background and qualifications of those whose names are on the list. This activity is pursued through confidential inquiries; the committee meets in executive sessions only. The committee rates each candidate as "well qualified," "qualified," or "not qualified" and these conclusions are communicated to the administration; the President makes the ultimate decision on whom to nominate; the Senate must confirm a nomination for the process to be completed.
In connection with Tribunal appointments, a number of groups could take the role fulfilled by the ABA Tax Section committee in the federal context, such as the New York State Bar Association, the ABA Tax Section's State and Local Tax Committee, or a New York State Judicial Screening Committee. If you believe that such a process would be worthwhile and feasible, we would be happy to work with your staff in (a) identifying the appropriate review group and (b) developing procedures for the process.
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