A Select, Themed Timeline of the New York City Bar Association
I. The Justice System and Good Government

Born to counter corruption and support good government, the City Bar has never ceased its focus on its mission. Shortly after its founding, the City Bar launched its Judiciary Committee to evaluate candidates for election or appointment to judicial office and other offices connected with the administration of justice in state and federal courts in New York City. In 1871 and 1930, judges were indicted or removed following City Bar investigations. In 1873, the Association called for a constitutional amendment to return to judicial appointments instead of elections, and has supported the idea ever since. In 1955, the City Bar’s report “Bad Housekeeping” documented the poor administration of New York State courts, which is believed to have led to the creation of the Judicial Conference, headed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and charged with administering the courts in an efficient and responsible way. In 1988, the City Bar formed its Committee on Government Ethics. In 2019, the City Bar’s newly formed Task Force on the Rule of Law issued a statement calling on the Attorney General of the United States to recuse himself from the Department of Justice review of the Ukraine matter.

The “Association of the Bar of the City of New York” is founded to counter corruption in the justice system.
Two judges are indicted and 16 attorneys disbarred following the Association’s city-wide investigation of judicial corruption and court fixing under Tammany mayor Jimmy Walker.
The book “Privacy and Freedom” by Professor Alan F. Westin, based on the Association’s pioneering study of the impact of technological progress on privacy in the U.S., is published.
Four days after the “Saturday Night Massacre,” the City Bar invites the fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox to speak at the Association, where he would receive a standing ovation in a packed meeting hall.
The City Bar finds Judge Robert Bork not qualified to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The report “Taking Aim: New York State’s Regulation of Firearms and Proposals for Reform” provides overview of existing firearms regulation in New York and identifies areas in need of improved or additional regulation.
City Bar issues statement calling on the U.S. Attorney General to recuse himself from Ukraine matters.
The Association calls for constitutional amendment to return to judicial appointments instead of elections.
The report “Bad Housekeeping” documents the poor administration of New York State courts.
An Association report urges Congress to enact a moratorium on executions in the United States under its power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment by appropriate legislation.
Formation of Special Committee on Election Law.
Vote Here signage
The Association issues the report “Proposed Constitutional Amendment Providing for Direct Election of the President and Vice President of the United States.”
Formation of Task Force on Mass Incarceration.

Albany reform tops City Bar’s state legislative agenda.

birds flying out of a cage graphic