Rule 43(a) is an anomaly in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.'Attorney General Cummings, the chief sponsor of the enabling act, apparently did not contemplate the inclusion of any rule dealing with the admissibility of evidence. The American Bar Association, which sponsored similar bills before Congress for years, laid much of the groundwork but abandoned the project prior to successful completion. A report of the Association's committee charged with the duty of "pushing" the then current version of the bill stated that the court rules were not to deal with evidence. The broadest expression in the bill which was enacted into law in 1934, as well as in the bill upon which the Bar Association' committee reported, authorized the Supreme Court to prescribe "procedure" for the district courts. The Supreme Court had previously indicated that procedure includes the law of evidence. The Advisory Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to draft the Rules of Civil Procedure became convinced that the Court had authority under the statute to deal with evidence and that it was necessary for the Court to exercise the authority.
Thomas F. Green Jr.,
Federal Civil Procedure Rule 43(a): A Freak Among the Rules,
5 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol5/iss3/14