Week ahead: letting public video record jurors and judges in NH; statutorily requiring diversity in RI courts; impeaching KS judges for “usurping” the legislature; ending merit selection in AZ, HI

Legislatures Going Out of Session

Wyoming 3/4
Oregon 3/6

Hearings and Votes

February 29

Arizona House Rules Committee

HCR 2028 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends merit/commission selection of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Superior Court in counties with a population over 250,000. Requires all judges be elected in nonpartisan elections.

March 1

New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee

HB 1546 Permits the audio and video recording of a public servant performing a public function. Defines “public servant” as including judges and jurors under RSA 640:2, II(a).

Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee

HB 7455 Requires governor and nominating authorities in making appointments to judicial nominating commission “ensure that the membership of the commission reflects the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the state’s population.” Requires commission consider diversity of bench in making recommendations and nominations. Requires nominations list sent to governor include at least one person of color.

March 2

Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee

SB 2239 Ends merit/commission selection of judges. Requires justices and judges be elected to serve six-year terms and be subject to the consent of the senate for subsequent judicial terms.

Maryland House Judiciary Committee

HB 814 Creates task force to study the adequacy and cost of State laws and policies relating to the litigation of medical malpractice cases, including an examination of the efficiency of the State court system and whether justice would be better served by assigning judges with medical liability expertise to hear those cases.

Nebraska Senate Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

LB 779 Ends partisan elections for clerks of court and other county officials.

March 3

Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 439 Specifies grounds for impeachment of Kansas Supreme Court justice and District Court judges chosen via merit/commission system to include “attempting to subvert fundamental laws and introduce arbitrary power, attempting to usurp the power of the legislative or executive branch of government, exhibiting wanton or reckless judicial conduct.”

March 4