The South Asian Bar Association of Chicago (“SABA-CH”) has adopted the following policies regarding the organization’s consideration of requests for endorsement of individuals seeking judicial appointments, political appointments, or election to voluntary or other Bar associations. As a not-for-profit organization organized pursuant to I.R.C. § 501(c)(6), SABA-CH is not permitted to support candidates for partisan political office.
Pursuant to § 7.01 of SABA-CH’s Bylaws, the SABA-CH Board of Directors (“the Board”) established an Endorsements Committee comprised of at least two Association members, including at least one Board member who shall serve as chairperson of the Committee. The term for membership on the Endorsements Committee shall be one year, renewable for up to five consecutive years on an annual basis.
SABA-CH requests that candidates submit their materials at least four weeks in advance of the deadline for submission of SABA-CH’s endorsement letter or announcement. SABA-CH may consider endorsement requests submitted past this deadline on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances of the delay (i.e., could the candidate have submitted their materials earlier but failed to do so) and availability of the Endorsements Committee to consider the late request. For the Illinois and Chicago Bar elections, SABA-CH shall establish and publicize a schedule each year based on the start of the voting period.
Individuals seeking SABA-CH’s endorsements shall complete an Endorsement Questionnaire (see below) and provide a current resume or CV. The Endorsements Committee shall review these written materials and conduct an interview (via teleconference, videoconference, or in person, as appropriate) to evaluate whether to recommend that the SABA-CH Board approve or deny the endorsement request. The Endorsements Committee shall evaluate candidates based on consistency with the following criteria:
• SABA-CH membership status and sustained history of involvement in SABA-CH’s activities and initiatives;
• Demonstrated commitment to support the South Asian legal community in the Chicago metropolitan area and/or nationally;
• Demonstrated commitment to supporting efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession; and
• Strong academic and professional qualifications commensurate with the position being sought.
The application materials of all candidates seeking endorsement for any elected or appointed office shall be kept confidential by the Endorsements Committee and the SABA-CH Board. The candidate may redact personal information contained in application materials, such as their social security number; personal financial information; and medical information. All internal deliberations regarding a candidate’s request for endorsement shall remain confidential and not be disclosed to anyone other than Endorsements Committee members or SABA-CH Board members.
Any member of the Endorsements Committee who believes they have a potential or actual conflict regarding a candidate shall disclose the conflict to the Committee at the earliest possible opportunity. The Committee shall evaluate the nature of any apparent conflict and decide whether the disclosing Committee member must recuse himself or herself from interviewing and voting on the candidate. The candidate shall be informed of the nature of any apparent conflict that results in a Committee member’s recusal from the endorsement process. Nevertheless, following full disclosure of the conflict to the Committee, the recused Committee member may share his or her views concerning the candidate with the rest of the Committee. A tie vote among the remaining Committee members as to whether to recommend endorsement of the candidate shall be considered a vote against endorsement.