American Judicature Society

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Seal of the American Judicature Society.

The American Judicature Society (AJS) (founded 1913) was an independent, nonpartisan, national organization of judges, lawyers, and interested members of the public whose mission is to improve the American justice system - to "secure and promote an independent and qualified judiciary and fair system of justice."   Its membership roster included renowned members of the legal profession, including U.S. attorneys general and Supreme Court justices.

Its primary focus areas were:[1]

  • Judicial independence
  • Judicial conduct and ethics
  • Judicial selection
  • The jury
  • Criminal justice system
  • Public understanding of the justice system

In order to accomplish its mission, AJS supported research, publications, and educational programs. It also sponsored several annual awards recognizing achievement by state and federal judges.

The AJS main offices were formerly located at The Opperman Center at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. The AJS began a new association with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in July 2013.[2] On September 26, 2014, the Board of Directors approved a plan to dissolve the Society and wind up its affairs.[3]

Current events[edit]

On September 10, 2005 the AJS announced the establishment of the Institute of Forensic Science and Public Policy to research and provide education on issues leading to wrongful convictions in the U.S. The institute will be led by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and David Dorn, MD, former dean of the Stanford Medical School. The institute will be located in Greensboro, NC. [1]

On September 9, 2005 the AJS weighed in on the Senate hearings on the nomination of John G. Roberts as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Roberts was ethically bound not to make promises on his future votes.September 9, 2005 opinion

In 2014, the AJS dissolved.[2] The Center for Judicial Ethics (with Cynthia Gray) is now at the National Center for State Courts, and Judicature, the former AJS journal, is based at Duke Law School's Center for Judicial Studies.

Notable members[edit]

2005-2006 Board of Directors[edit]

  • Gordon L Doefer, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Appeal Court
  • Marc T. Amy, Louisiana Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • William W. Baker, Washington Court of Appeals
  • Denise Courtland Hayes, General Counsel, NAACP
  • Janet Reno (former Attorney General of the United States)
  • Kevin S. Burke, Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota
  • John L. Hill, Jr., former Chief Justice (retired), Texas
  • R. Gil Kerlikowske, Chief, Seattle Police Department
  • Ricard B. Teitelman, Missouri Supreme Court
  • Peter D. Webster, Florida First District Court of Appeals

Former directors/board members/members[edit]


  1. ^ AJS [American Judicature Society] - About AJS
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Living Legends: Armand Brinkhaus". Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]