Week ahead: Minnesota looks at judicial discipline, Missouri House committee votes on ending merit selection, South Carolina may alter state’s Judicial Council

Legislatures Coming Into Session

Arkansas 2/13/12
Wyoming 2/13/12

Committee Activity of Note

February 13

February 14

Minnesota House Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee

Informational Hearing on MN Board on Judicial Standards (for prior Senate hearing, see Minnesota: Should judicial disciplinary board be used to review merits of judicial decisions?)

Missouri House Special Standing Committee on Judicial Reform

HJR 44 (Constitutional Amendment) Modifies state merit selection system. Increases from 3 to 5 names to be submitted to governor. Allows governor to reject first panel of 5 names and receive additional panel, none of whom may have been named in first panel. Changes appellate judicial commission to remove justice of supreme court, provides non-lawyer members appointed may not be the spouse of a member of the bar, and all commissioners must be senate confirmed. Makes similar changes to circuit judicial commissions. Ends service of all current commission members effective date of adoption of amendment. Allows incoming governors to remove commissioners appointed by prior governor(s).

HJR 77 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends merit selection in state. Requires all judicial elections be partisan elections. Reduces supreme court terms from 12 to 8 years. Requires general assembly redistrict circuits after every census.

South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 1055 Revises Judicial Council to include Chief Judge of Court of Appeals, person recommended by the Charleston School of Law, one person recommended by the South Carolina Bar (rather than the President of the Bar, and two summary court (rather than magistrate court) judges.

February 15

February 16

February 17