2003 FRE 608(b) Amendment Legislative History Page

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court transmitted an amendment to FRE 608(b) (clarifying that prohibition on extrinsic evidence applies when the basis for the evidence is to attack or support the witness’ character for truthfulness) which was recommended by the Judicial Conference. When Congress did not act on the transmittal by the Supreme Court, the amendment became law.



Amendment Action Timeline Proposed Amendment to FRE 608(b) For 2003

The chronology for the amendment is provided below along with links to reports (in the left column) where available:

DateAction
April 19, 2001 Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules unanimously recommends to the Standing Committee that the proposed amendment to FRE 608(b) and the accompanying Committee Note be issued for public comment (including Proposed Amendment to Evidence Rule 608(b) and Proposed Committee Note)
May 1, 2001Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules unanimously approves proposed amendment to FRE 608(b) and the proposed Committee Note, and recommended that the proposed amendment be approved for release for public comment (including Proposed Amendment to Evidence Rule 608(b) and Proposed Committee Note)
Dec. 1, 2001Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules proposed amendments to FRE 608(b)
April 19, 2002 Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules unanimously recommends the Standing Committee approve a proposed amendment to FRE 608(b) and the accompanying Committee Note, and forward them to the Judicial Conference
May 1, 2002Report of the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules concerning proposed amendment to FRE 608(b) (to Honorable Anthony J. Scirica, Chair Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, from Honorable Milton I. Shadur, Chair Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules (Revised to account for action taken by Standing Committee at its June 10-11 meeting)
May 1, 2002 Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules unanimously approves amendment to FRE 608(b) and recommends that the Standing Committee approve and it to the Judicial Conference
August 2002Report Of The Judicial Conference Committee On Rules Of Practice And Procedure concerning proposed amendments including to FRE 608(b)
October 18, 2002A short report was given on the status of pending amendments: In June 2002, the Standing Committee approved the amendment to FRE 608(b) and referred it to the Judicial Conference, which then approved the amendment and transmitted it to the U.S. Supreme Court
November 18, 2002Report Of The Judicial Conference Committee On Rules Of Practice And Procedure To The Chief Justice Of The United States And Members Of The Judicial Conference Of The United States concerning amendment to FRE 608(b); Summary of the proposed amendments
March 27, 2003 U.S. Supreme Court transmits amendment to FRE 608(b) to the U.S. Congress. See 538 U.S. 1097 (2003); 149 Cong. Rec. 7689 (March 27, 2003) (Ex. Comm. 1494); 149 Cong. Rec. H2467 (daily ed. March 27, 2003) (Ex. Comm. 1494); 149 Cong. Rec. S4628 (daily ed. April 1, 2003) (Ex. Comm. 1784); H. Doc. 108–57. By law, the Supreme Court acts on the recommendation by May 1, 2003. See 28 U.S.C. § 2074(a) ("The Supreme Court shall transmit to the Congress not later than May 1 of the year in which a rule is to become effective a copy of the proposed rule. Such rule shall take effect no earlier than December 1 of the year in which such rule is so transmitted unless otherwise provided by law.").
Dec. 1, 2003Congress had the final opportunity to accept, modify or reject the proposed amendment by December 1, 2006. Since Congress did not act, the rule transmitted by the Supreme Court was adopted. See 28 U.S.C. § 2074(a).

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