Week ahead: MN may adopt merit selection while FL & HI may modify their systems; recusal for judicial campaign contributions in Alabama; Hawaii may vote again on judicial retirement item that narrowly lost in 2012

Legislatures Coming Into Session

Louisiana 3/10/14

Legislatures Adjourning Session

Arkansas 3/11/14 (estimate)
Washington 3/13/14
Indiana 3/14/14
Utah 3/13/14

Committee Activity of Note

March 10

March 11

Florida Senate Judiciary Committee

SJR 1188 (Constitutional Amendment) Allows governor to fill “prospective” vacancies in appellate courts via state’s merit selection system. Prior coverage here.

Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 275 (Constitutional Amendment) Authorizes the chief justice to appoint judges who have retired upon attaining the age of seventy years as emeritus judges. Permits appointed judges to serve as temporary judges in courts no higher than the court level they reached prior to retirement and for terms not to exceed three months per each appointment. Prior coverage here. Coverage of 2012 loss here.

HB 420 (Constitutional Amendment) Requires the judicial selection commission to publicly disclose its list of nominees for appointment to the office of the chief justice, supreme court, intermediate appellate court, circuit courts, or district courts concurrently with its presentation of that list to the governor or the chief justice. Prior coverage here.

March 12

Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 440 Provides rebuttable presumption of judicial recusal where party, attorney, or law firm in case gave 25% of all contributions to judge’s campaign. Prior coverage 0f House version of bill (HB 543) here.

Minnesota Senate Rules and Administration – Subcommittee on Elections

SB 1082 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides for merit selection for all judges in state with performance evaluation commission.

Tennessee House Civil Justice Committee, Civil Justice Subcommittee

HB 1767 Requires all appellate judges be elected via contested elections unless November 2014 constitutional amendment providing for different system approved by voters.

March 13

Arizona House Judiciary Committee

SB 1266 Allows an elected or appointed judicial officer, under certain conditions, to carry a deadly weapon in the court facility where the judicial officer works.

March 14