Week ahead: Key votes on merit selection in at least 3 states; Arizona Senate cmte looks at control of state bar; judicial emergencies in ND

Coming out of session

Virginia 2/23/13

February 18

Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 1415 Provides Supreme Court to license attorneys. Provides anyone may take bar exam and that no one may be denied admission to the bar solely because the person in not a law school graduate

North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 1073 Grants supreme court power to declare judicial emergencies. Allows for supreme court to toll statutes/deadlines. Does not allow for tolling or extension of deadlines or requirements imposed by U.S. or North Dakota constitution. Approved by full House 1/17/13.

February 19

Kansas House Judiciary Committee

SB 8 Ends merit selection in state. Provides governor may select nominees subject to senate confirmation. Creates Judicial Nominating Commission to review governor’s pick and make recommendations prior to Senate confirmation. Provides failure by Senate to vote on candidate within certain time frame results in automatic confirmation. Approved by full Senate 1/31/13.

Tennessee House Finance, Ways & Means Committee

HJR 8 Provides governor may appoint anyone who meets age and residency requirements to appellate courts with legislative confirmation. Provides nominee is deemed confirmed if legislature fails to act on nomination within 60 calendar days of nomination or 60 days of start of legislative session (if nominated out of session). Provides for retention elections.

February 20

Arizona House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee

HB 2600 Provides merit selection commissions must provide governor at least 5 names (constitution says at least 3 names) to fill a judicial vacancy.

February 21

Maryland House Judiciary Committee

HB 515 Provides candidate for orphans’ court may not be nominated in party primary, may not be nominated by other party process, and must be elected at general election on a nonpartisan basis. (Currently elected on partisan ballot).

Tennessee House

HB 796 Extends state’s judicial nominating commission until June 30, 2013.

Tennessee Senate

SJR 2 Provides governor may appoint anyone who meets age and residency requirements to appellate courts with legislative confirmation. Provides nominee is deemed confirmed if legislature fails to act on nomination within 60 calendar days of nomination or 60 days of start of legislative session (if nominated out of session). Provides for retention elections.

February 22