What Leinster House legal eagles have said about minister
Michael McDowell: "You are taken to the conclusion, I have to say, that Minister Ross is driven by a personal agenda in making this particular requirement of his Government partners.
"Now, I don't want to get personal about this but I know what the background to this particular animus in this matter is. It arises from his dissatisfaction with the way a particular case that he was involved in as a plaintiff was decided. I won't go further into it. I know the details and I know what we are dealing with here. That is why he wants this particular provision to be put in place."
"At the end of the day I will obey the whip and I will vote for the bill, but for a lot of it I will do so with a heavy heart because I feel it is an insult to the profession of which I am a proud member. I am still a practising solicitor and I find the bill to be an insult to the legal profession."
"Will the Taoiseach ensure that deputy Ross will include a provision to deal with this scandalous situation in one of the forthcoming items of transport legislation? It would certainly be more relevant than some of the legislation he has forced the Government to put through recently."
"I appeal to the minister to use his better judgment and collapse this enterprise at once and tell the minister, deputy Ross, to worry about the bus system and the train system, forget about this and come back to us with reasonable proposals that can ensure the independence of our Judiciary is protected and enhanced, as it should be under our Constitution, in order that people can have confidence going before its system."
"You've a Government who are asleep at the wheel who are prepared to give him what he wants just to keep him on-side. Whatever about Stepaside garda station, let him have that little frolic but the idea that we're going to change the method whereby judges are appointed for another one of his frolics is nonsensical and reflects very badly on the Taoiseach and the Government."
"As my colleagues in the other House, deputies Howlin, Penrose and Sherlock, have said, it is unfortunate that the bill has come in this form and as a result of what appears to be a populist crusade by a particular member of Government, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, deputy Ross. As others have said, and indeed deputy Howlin has said, the shoddy motives behind the bill have affected its provisions."