Rhode Island Year in Review: Judicial selection/appointment, drug courts

New laws affecting the courts enacted by the Rhode Island  legislature in 2012 include the following:

HB 7848 / SB 2681 Increases the number required for a quorum of the Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline from 8 to 9. Increases the number of affirmative votes required for a recommendation to the supreme court from 8 to 9.

HB 8043 Extends until 2013 law allowing any individual whose name was publicly submitted to the governor by the judicial nominating commission, eligible for subsequent nomination by the governor.

HB 8159 / SB 2941 Allows the general magistrate of the family court, upon retirement and at the direction of the chief justice of the supreme court, to perform services as general magistrate as the chief justice prescribes without any reduction of retirement benefits.

SB 2680 Vests with the governor the sole authority to nominate, on the basis of merit, from a list submitted by the judicial nominating commission with the advice and consent of the senate, all judges and magistrates, to all courts. (Currently presiding judges & chief judges appoint certain magistrates).

SB 2770 Defines the duties of a Drug Court Magistrate and specifies which individuals qualify for the Drug Court and the conditions and responsibilities imposed thereon.