The list of legislatures looking to take over state judicial disciplinary commissions is growing.
A plan discussed here to move the state’s independent judicial disciplinary commission (Judicial Qualifications Commission) under the legislature has cleared the House. Both a constitutional amendment (HR 1113) and enabling legislation (HB 808) that would vacate the existing JQC and create a new one. In addition the House this week approved creation of a panel to investigate and subpoena the JQC and its members. (h/t Gavel Grab)
An ethics reform package (HB 3184, originally discussed here) approved by the House and set for a Senate vote today would recreate the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct in statute and diminish the state supreme court’s power to name the Commission on Judicial Conduct’s members.
The current 26 member Commission on Judicial Conduct is created by Rule 502, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules and chosen entirely by the Supreme Court. The new 24 member Commission would have only 1/3 chosen by that court.
- 8 chosen by the Supreme Court, including 6 judges
- 4 chosen by the Senate (2 attorneys, 2 non-attorneys)
- 4 chosen by the House (2 attorneys, 2 non-attorneys)
- 8 chosen by the Governor, (4 attorneys, 2 non-attorneys)