New Hampshire House committee moves to strip supreme court of rule making, create special panel to ensure “balanced and neutral judiciary”, end mandatory bar

Long time readers will no doubt be aware of the litany of efforts by the New Hampshire House to undercut or attack the state’s judiciary, from impeachment threats, to attempts to strip the courts of the power of judicial review, to voting to “repudiate” the opinion’s of the state’s supreme court, to outright writing the state’s supreme court out of the constitution.

The latest such efforts made it out of committee this week, including:

CACR 22 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides that the chief justice shall adopt court rules only with the concurrence of the legislature.

CACR 26 (Constitutional Amendment) Repeals constitutional provision authorizing the chief justice of the supreme court to make rules governing the administration of all the courts.

HB 1131 ORIGINAL: Establishes a committee to study the revisions to laws which would be necessary if the supreme court and superior court were abolished as constitutional courts. AS AMENDED: Establishes committee of 3 House members and 2 Senate members to “to study methods of creating a balanced and neutral judiciary.” Committee to report by November 2, 2012.

HB 1474 Eliminates requirement that attorneys be members of New Hampshire Bar Association. (Unified bar established by state supreme court in 1968, see In re Unification of N.H. Bar, 248 A.2d 709).

This is in addition to an effort passed by the House earlier in February the sought to unilaterally “revoke” rules established by the supreme court under its existing rule making authority.

All four items adopted by the House Judiciary Committee will be voted on by the full House March 7.

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